The cameras also help the bots figure out where they’ve been—a seemingly simple enhancement that makes a host of new skills possible. For example, some robot vacuums—like the ones from iRobot and Samsung below—can now clean half your home, return to their bases to recharge their batteries and then pick up where they left off without traversing the same area again. This allows designers to crank up the suction power, since conserving battery life is no longer a concern. The bots can simply recharge as many times as needed to get a job done.
For the first time, we’re also seeing robots that can connect to the Internet, allowing you to activate them using a smartphone app from another floor in your home or from across the country. Don’t have time to vacuum before a last-minute guest comes over? No worries. Just turn on your robo housekeeper from the grocery store.
The Roomba 980 is iRobot's most advanced floor-vacuuming bot, with WiFi, app control and a view of the room.