If the most effort you’ve ever wanted to put into cleaning your home is yelling at your Roomba while watching it from the couch, then you’re in luck.
iRobot announced today that an Amazon Alexa skill will be available for Roomba 900 Series vacuum owners in the US starting sometime in quarter 2. That means yelling “Alexa, ask Roomba to begin cleaning” will be enough to get your vacuum robot going. Customers will be able to use simple voice commands to start, stop, and pause cleaning jobs, all without the minimal amounts of effort previously required to operate their Roombas.
In addition to push notifications on the status of cleaning jobs, the iRobot Home App will also gain a new Clean Map feature starting today. It will track your Roomba’s performance as it cleans your home, allowing you to view a map of the areas it cleaned and in which areas it cleaned the most dirt. The Clean Map reports will be accessible through the app’s history tab.
While iRobot’s work has focused largely on the Roomba, the company’s chairman and CEO, Colin Angle, has high hopes for the future of the smart home and the Roomba’s role in that future. In a press release Angle said, “These are exciting next steps towards our vision of an ecosystem of home robots that work collaboratively and further enable the smart home.” He told TechCrunch he expects this to become a reality in “single digit years.”
iRobot, however, is not the first company to integrate Alexa voice commands with its vacuum robots for optimal user laziness. In November, iRobot competitor Neato rolled out software that allowed customers to control their Botvac connected robots through Alexa voice commands. Samsung also unveiled a vacuum robot that could be controlled with Alexa in December.