After six generations, the Roomba is finally going to get smarter. That’s the promise behind the Roomba 980, which comes with new sensors and an intelligent visual navigation system that can map out rooms in a more precise and accurate manner.
Instead of the bumbling robot that seemed to run about in random patterns, the new robo-vac can now create a localized map of the room and clean it in an efficient way. Capable of identifying its position within the map (thanks to a new powerful camera and a floor-tracking sensor), the robot is able to know how far along it should clean in a straight line (no need to hit the wall every single time), all while being able to alter its direction in real-time to avoid any obstacles in the way.
The Roomba 980 also comes with built-in WiFi, allowing you to control the robo-vac via the accompanying iRobot HOME app (sorry, dedicated remote) from anywhere with internet access. That means, you can have it start cleaning your house while everyone’s at work and school, so there’s no need have a robot buzzing around while there’s heavy foot traffic in the vicinity. It looks like it uses the same brushless motor as the previous-generation 880, so it should be just as powerful a cleaner, whether your floors are hardwood, tiles, or filled with rugs. Features include a battery that can power it for two hours at a time, a lower profile for sliding under furniture, and a new ability to differentiate between floor surfaces then adjust its settings accordingly.
Available now, the Roomba 980 is priced at $899.