iRobot guarantees new autonomous robotic vacuum cleaner will avoid pet accidents

Autonomous robotic vacuum cleaning firm iRobot has introduced a more intelligent device that it guarantees will avoid pet accidents.

Churning over mess from pets has been a long-running pain point for users, but the company believes new PrecisionVision Navigation technology will stamp out the problem.

The company is introducing a Pet Owner’s Official Promise – P.O.O.P. – for its latest model the Roomba j7+, pledging to provide a replacement if the machine does not detect and manoeuvre around solid pet waste.

The reassurance offer is limited to the US for the moment, though it is expected to be available in other regions soon.

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Using AI technology and a series of cameras, iRobot claims the cleaner gets smarter with each use, learning how best to navigate floors, remembering specific rooms and certain furniture.

It is able to start cleaning automatically when a person leaves the home and stop when they return, using their smartphone’s location services.

At launch J7+ will spot things like cables, but eventually it will notice other objects in the way like socks.

Owners can opt-in to a service that allows the device to take images of items and asks via an app how to deal with it.

iRobot said these images are not stored on their servers and are fully encrypted as they transfer from machine, to the cloud, and then the user’s phone, meaning employees cannot view the photos.

Roomba j7+
Roomba j7+ (iRobot/PA)

Users can also choose to share anonymised images with the firm to help improve the machine learning’s ability to detect objects.

“Smart home products often fail to live up to consumer expectations when they lack context of the home, cannot learn independently and require complex programming for basic functionality,” said Colin Angle, chairman and chief executive of iRobot.

“We understand home environments and lifestyles are unique and that it’s important to offer intelligent, simple-to-use products that more thoughtfully work within the boundaries of house rules set by the user.

“The Roomba j7+ with iRobot Genius provides greater levels of personalisation, new home automations and the ability to get smarter over time, allowing the robot to deliver a more intuitive cleaning experience so people have more time to do what’s most important to them.”

The Roomba j7+ starts at £699.99 without the automatic disposal base, and £899.99 with it included.