(NEW YORK) — iRobot, the maker of popular home robots, announced on Tuesday new versions of two of its autonomous cleaning devices — the Looj and the Roomba.
Like previous Roombas, the 600 Series uses sensors to find dirt on carpets, wood floors, tile and laminate, but it’s now been improved with AreoVac technology that doesn’t require the dust bin to be emptied as often and new brushes that allow hair to be removed more easily. It’s also gotten a new color design.
The biggest improvement, though, is in price. The models in the 600 Series (the 630, 650, 660) are now the most affordable Roombas; the 630 starts at $329.99 and will replace the entry-level 500 series. But that doesn’t mean you give up other key functions; all models can automatically find their own home base docks to recharge their batteries, have special wall detection sensors, and have technology to clean the dirtiest sections of a floor multiple times.
For those more concerned about outdoor home cleaning, iRobot is also releasing a new version of the Looj: a bot that does the tougher and dirtier job of cleaning the gutters.
“We wanted to make it easier and safer for people to use,” Jeff Karlson, Technical Project Manager for iRobot, told ABC News.
The Looj 330 has been totally redesigned with a faster auger that spins at 500 RPM, new interchangeable auger flaps (it comes with three), a larger 7.2 volt lithium-ion battery, and multiple speed choices for big gutter clogs.
The $299.99 Looj has a remote control that doubles as a handle. Slide the horizontal bot into a dirty gutter, slide out the handle, press start and the Looj will start spinning away and kick the leaves and debris out. The remote can control the robot from 50 feet away.
Both iRobot robots are available online Tuesday.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Patrick Ary, WAAY
Jackie Wattles, CNN
Paul R. La Monica, CNN
Parija Kavilanz, CNN