We got one of the iRobot Discovery vacuums for Christmas and we love it. It’s a perfect example of a consumer robot done right: affordable, great “out-of-box” experience, does what it’s supposed to do, built on appropriate technology, not flashy gee-whiz crap (no sonar or IR sensing, no fancy microcontrollers, no webcam, etc.). It vacuums, plain and simple.
iRobot’s founder, Rodney Brooks’s robot design philosophy has always been to build new features/functions on top of successful previous one. This leads us to the company’s new Scooba, a robot that can vacuum and wash hardware floors as well as “mop” kitchens and bathrooms. Cool.
iRobot says that limited quantities of the bot will be available this holiday season, with a full rollout in early 2006. No word yet on suggested retail price. There’s a sneak peek video and animation available here.