iRobot Announces the 800 Series Roomba with Flagship Roomba 880

iRobot Roomba 800 Series Crop

Today (11/12/13) iRobot announced the 800 Series Roomba vacuum cleaning robots. It is now available through Amazon.com.

As one would expect with a new generation of robot, there are several improvements in the 800 Series. The most significant new feature is a brushless cleaning system that iRobot has dubbed “AeroForce.” The official press release says that the AeroForce system is made of “Brushless, counter-rotating AeroForce Extractors that break down debris and dirt, while requiring less maintenance.” The system is designed with “Suction Amplification” – which iRobot explains is created by airflow acceleration.

The robots also use a new battery system, “XLife.” Here are other new features in the 800 Series Roombas:

  • No more tangled hairs in the cleaning head.
  • Dust bin size has been increased 60%.
  • In terms of “cleaning cycles” iRobot claims twice the battery life.
  • Vacuum power has been increased 5 times.
  • 800 Series remove up to 50% more dirt, dust, debris, and hair.

iRobot has stated that the following technologies will continue in the 800 Series: Dirt Detect, Persistent Pass Cleaning, Full Bin Indicator, Spot Clean Mode and Power Management. The new robots can be scheduled, will automatically dock, and are compatible with Virtual Walls and Lighthouses. That’s all good news.

iRobot Roomba 880 AeroForce Rollers

There isn’t really an explanation of the AeroForce technology, besides how it’s just a different sort of vacuum. A close look at the underside of the robot, however, shows what looks like rubber rollers with ribs and little tabs or teeth. I for one am thinking that iRobot must have come up with something better than the brushes, because those are really key to how Roombas work. Eliminating the brushes should also help to resolve one of the main complaints people have with Roombas, being maintenance. You might not have to do it every time you use the robot, but sooner or later, you’re going to have to open up your vacuum’s cleaning head and clear out some tangles (especially if you’re a pet owner). Looks like that might be a thing of the past.

What’s in the box?

  • The robot
  • 1 XLife battery
  • 1 Integrated Home Base
  • 1 Remote Control
  • 2 Virtual Wall Lighthouses
  • 1 Extra HEPA Filter
  • Warranty (1 Year iRobot Limited Warranty)
  • Also, batteries for the remote and the Virtual Walls.

The Roomba 880 sells for 699.99. As mentioned above, it is now available through Amazon.com.

iRobot Announces the New Braava Floor Mopping Robot

iRobot_Braava_380_with-accessories

Today iRobot announced the new Braava floor mopping robot. Between you and me, it’s obviously a rebranded Evolution Robotics Mint robot, which makes a lot of sense. iRobot’s last foray into mopping robots was widely panned (don’t take my word for it – just check out the reviews of the iRobot Scooba 230 on Amazon)

iRobot_Braava_320_livingroom-hardwood

To put it in a nutshell, the original Mint 4200 is being re-branded as the Braava 320, and the Mint 5200 is being rebranded as the Braava 380t. It appears from the promotional material available, that the robots are exactly the same as the Evolution Robotics ones, even down to to the charging cradle for the 380t. As detailed in the iRobot press release, the Braava series was introduced earlier this year. It looks like the company will continue to sell it’s Scooba floor washing robots.

If you’re interested in these robots, they’re great for sweeping and mopping floors, although the 380t has features which make it better for mopping than the Braava 320. Here are links to reviews: Our comprehensive review for the Mint 5200 (the 380t). Our review of the original Mint (now the Braava 320).

Get the Braava 320 Floor Mopping Robot at Amazon.

Get the Braava 380t Floor Mopping Robot at Amazon.

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