back to article iRobot unveils new Roomba auto-vacuums

iRobot, maker of military robots and autonomous floor cleaner units, have announced a new line of "Roomba" auto-vacuums. According to the company, the latest 500 series suck-bots have "raised the IQ of home care". Roomba - now with raised IQ. Apparently. The basic Roomba 530, available now online in America for $300, can …


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  1. Ian Ferguson


    It's still ambiguous as to whether they actually vacuum. The Roombas that my friends have just sweep the floor (although that is still fairly effective). The subject line of their press release suggests they do utilise vacuum cleaning now, but the description further down still skirts around the issue, calling their tasks 'cleaning' rather than 'vacuuming'.

    Regarding robotic butlers - I'm sure the Roomba could be utilised. Give it a cute little bow tie, park its recharging station next to the drinks cabinet, and deposit dust next to your sofa.

  2. War Monger

    Don't need the robot butler...

    Just give me my flying car already. With the time that will save, I can vacuum my own floors and mix my own drinks although not necessarily in that order.

  3. Simon Waddington


    We recently bought the bottom-of-the-range Roomba for cleaning our flat. We have wooden floors throughout, and the sucker gets switched on 2-3 times a week, just before I leave for work. It cleans just fine, and stops the onslaught of the dust bunnies. It's not a turbine-toting monster but a little-and-often really does the job. They should definitely program it to run & hide when the kids are around, though.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want one...

    ... that eats bugs.

    Particularly wasps, daddy long legs and flies. Spiders too, while it's at it.

    Far more effective than a deliberately malnourished cat, or a press-ganged toddler with a net.

  5. Chris Morrison


    I quite want one of these daddies. Do they work okay on carpets? Ho wmuhc dirt to they hold before they need emptied?

    Is there a flying dalek version that can go down to the bins outside my flat and empty itself??

  6. Phil Endecott

    Support the Military-Industrial Complex

    Thank you for reminding me that if I were to buy one of these things, I would be buying from a company that also makes killing machines. Another reason to prefer the Electrolux Trilobite is that it actually is a _vacuum_ cleaner, rather than a carpet sweeper. Unfortunately it's rather pricey, so for the time being I'll just wallow in filth.

  7. Cameron Colley

    Forget butlers, and flying cars...

    Where's my Lucy Liu bot god-damn-it?

  8. A. Merkin

    Mop Bot

    I bet the new machine will be a mop-bot for cleaning up wet spills.

    Would be v. useful for cleaning up after the kill-bots.

  9. Joel

    How long until...

    they get me R2-D2?

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Andrew W. Hill

    Alternate Use

    Check out the SOMA Project ( for some interesting swarm research that uses the iRobot as a base.

  12. Rick Brasche


    to the author: bias much?

    "Oh, it's a defense company contractor. Add derision like "pork" and the old hippie saw: Military Industrial Complex! " twitch twitch

    I do hope this excessive handwringing is really British wit to show how silly the old-school, anti-Western society media has become.

    Otherwise, I wonder the color of that sky in your world. Rosy pink? Tinged by the likes of Chavez and the guy that designed your "traffic cameras everywhere" surveillance system that has our liberal control-freaks salivating?

    I can see the whining over soldiers, but the carrying on about robots-that's a real stretch of the imagination.

  13. Douglas Norton

    You have to give them a name

    Mine's called Matilda as a tribute to the bot on Robot Wars. She works like a charm, cleans 1400sq ft of carpet twice a week, needs emptying every other week. Sometimes (60%) she finds her way back to her charging station, rest of the time she seems to run out under the bed - its always under the bed, never in the middle of the room, go figure.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Male Response

    I remember when my dad suddenly had to do this dishes, within a few months we had a dishwasher and when i bought my house i got one before a fridge FFS!

    It is a law of sexual equality that the more domestic tasks men are required to share the greater the probability that they will design a machine for it. Should such technology not exists said domestic task will not get done or done so badly we never get asked to do it again.

    I give you:

    Washing Machines

    Tumble Dryers



    and now the ROOMBA

    I am getting one but one of the older cheaper ones like $200 max and when i am at work the little oik can clean clean clean or hoover hoover hoover. As long as it does its thing i have no problems with it planning world domination during in its charging cycle just as long as i don't have to do any more (poor attempts at) hoovering.

  15. Craig Chambers

    Re: Male Response

    The modern dishwasher was invented by a woman - as discussed on the TV show QI.

  16. Dale Harrison

    What's with the ... going to work

    Guys, surely the point of getting a geeky robot is so you can watch it go about it's business not leave it and go to work. In fact how about firing the telly remote at it every now and then to confuse it too, he he.

    Also, have a Roomba party (ooo-err missus) - bring yer girly mates around to try and impress them... maybe.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ken Says...

    I for one welcome out vacuuming Robort Overloads

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Roomba and Scooba rock!

    A friend of mine bought both, and she's in love with them. She knows that during the day both do what they are designed to do, and that when she comes home the place looks generally very clean. She does vacuum once a week with the big cleaner to clear the spots that the Roomba possibly missed or could not access.

    I'm seriously considering one, mostly because I am barely home, and eventually the place looks like a dust bomb exploded in it.

  19. Matt Caldwell

    Works fine

    Ours actually does a better job than the 'big' vacuum.

  20. Jay

    whats with the crappy random wandering?

    get some of that improved SLAM location recognition tech announced a while back, I can't abide dumbass robotic servants

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