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What's Next For iRobot? 88

An anonymous reader writes "Ten years since the debut of the Roomba vacuum cleaner and military PackBot, robots are mainstream but still not in every home. Meanwhile, a new generation of robotics companies is taking off. Where does that leave iRobot, the godfather of the field? With its military business taking a hit from the U.S. defense budget, the 22-year-old public company is looking to reinvent itself with new kinds of robots, including a telepresence machine for doctors and hospitals and, further down the road, inflatable robots that could be cheaper, safer, and more portable than their metallic predecessors. The question is whether these new machines will be successful enough to keep the company growing — and add to its legacy in robotics."
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What's Next For iRobot?

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  • by snowraver1 ( 1052510 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @06:21PM (#41317803)
    I have a 550 "Pet edition" Roomba, and it works great. I have a single cat (who admittidly doesn't shed that much compated to most cats). I have to clean out the rollers every once an a while, but it's still better than actually vaccuuming. While it can't get into a few areas (behind the garbage can is a big one) it generally works great. I think it does a better job than me (because I don't take any time to move anything).

    The biggest problem I have with it is that when it decides that it is done a room, it tends to hide. It might be under the middle of the bed, or tucked under the sofa in the back corner, but it's rarely in a spot where I don't have to get on my belly to retrieve it.

    I named mine Saul after Saul Goodman. Better call Saul!
  • by RelaxedTension ( 914174 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @08:52PM (#41319125)
    I have the 570, and love it. I've replaced parts along the way, but it runs at least 3 times a week, every week, and keeps my floors spotless. It runs while I'm out of the house, and I only have to empty it once a week or so. The main work to do is to keep stuff off of my floor so it doesn't get stuck, but that helps keep my place tidy.

    It broke a little while back, and while waiting for the part I had to pull out my old vacuum. That was a terrible experience after having a Roomba for a couple of years now. Btw, your issue of never it finishing out in the open, while exactly true, is not a problem if you have the remote for it. Took me a few times of crawling under the bed to realize that.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray