Dreambots WheeMe – OK it’s Not a Vacuum

It’s a robot masseuse (or masseur, depending). It’s not a vacuum, but it is a consumer-level autonomous robot that does a job (massage), so I decided to include it here.

Dreambots WheeMe massage robot

This is an interesting idea. Some engineers have put together a small, autonomous, wheeled robot. It’s designed to roll around on a person and give them a massage. The robot has tilt sensors built in so that it knows when its about to roll off your back, and also apparently “grips” while giving the massage. The wheels have fingers to massage your back (or whatever it happens to be rolling on).

Here are specifications:

  • Colors available: White/blue, White/Green, White/Red, Silver/Pink, Silver/Purple, Silver/Metallic Red, Silver/Metallic Blue, Silver/Metallic Green, Metallic Black
  • Size: 5″ x 3.8″ x 3.1″ (128mm x 96mm x 80mm)
  • Weight: 0.73 pound (330gram)
  • Speed: 1.6″/sec (4cm/sec)
  • Fingerettes: Nylon
  • Warranty: one year

The WheeMe uses three AA batteries. I’m hoping that it will come with a charger, but right now it looks like that’s not the case (?). It does not come with a remote control, which is fine with me. I mean, I could see it being fun – for 5 minutes. On the plus side, the robot’s gears were specially designed to be silent, so you’re not going to have something whining around on your back.

The WheeMe is available for pre-order from Dreambots website. The price is currently listed at $69 and the first robots are expected to ship in Spring of 2011. Check out the video to see the WheeMe in action, proving massages.

iRobot Announces the Roomba 700 Series

After a large amount of time without any updates to its product lines, iRobot has announced new models in both the Roomba line, the 700 Series. Members of this series are the Roomba 760, Roomba 770 and Roomba 780.

iRobot Roomba 780

Specifically, iRobot has made improvements to the cleaning head, which can now pick up fine particles 20% better. iRobot has also introduced a new bin technology they call AeroVac Series 2. This technology makes for better suction, to pull more dirt and hair out of carpeting. The 700 Series comes with HEPA air filters to keep from throwing fine dust particles around when it vacuums, trapping them instead. The Roomba 770 and 780 will also come with a new iteration of Dirt Detect. This uses an acoustic sensor to find areas of your floor that may be more dirty than others, and take special actions to get these areas especially clean. Fear not, the Roomba 760 will come with the old Dirt Detect technology (now dubbed Sirt Detect Series 1).

Other additions include a “Persistent Pass Cleaning Pattern” where the Roomba will use a back and forth motion to help clean dirty areas. Also the new Roombas should get a 50% battery life boost, thanks to new power management software.

The Roomba 770 and 780 will also have an indicator light for when the bin is full. Finally, the Roomba 780 will come with a touchpad interface. That sounds cool. I can’t wait to see these new Roombas.

iRobot Announces the Scooba 230

Tiny iRobot Scooba 230

The new Scooba 230 has been shrunk and is now only 6.5 inches wide. It is still 3.5 inches high. This change in dimensions is obviously so that it can navigate the tighter areas in bathrooms. Most specifically behind sink pedestals and toilets. It looks like the Scooba 230 will retain all of its other abilities, but the area it can cover before a refresh has also shrunk to 150 square feet. So yeah, it’s probably going to be more of a bathroom appliance (although that is enough to get my kitchen as well). The Scooba 230 has the same three-stage cleaning system as its older, larger bretheren. It washes, scrubs, squeegees, and vacuums your floor.

These new robots will be available in Spring of 2011.

iRobot Scooba 230