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Robotic News - The latest innovations in the world of robotics.



Thursday, September 13, 2007

    

"iRobot seems to have another bot in the works dubbed "Connectr" -- at least if a recent trademark filing for "robots for video and audio monitoring, surveillance, and communication" is anything to go on. This one might be just for iRobot's military and public service customers, but we'll hope for a consumer-friendly score here to rival other web-friendly video bots out there."


Time to put on our detective hats! Smile






From the presentations shown above - we can see that iRobot planned to release 2 non floor cleaning floor robots in 2007. One of them is obviously the already released Verro, and the other is the same graphic that is used in the second page that shows multiple units around the home.

We now know that iRobot will actually be releasing a total of 3 robots in 2007 that fall into this category. The Verro, and 2 new robots that will be officially announced on September 27th. One of them is most likely the Looj, and the other is most likely these small, inside robots.

Curiously, they appear to be shown sitting on top of a dresser, and sitting on top of a couch, which is an odd place to put something that would be used for audio and video surveillance - but anything is possible...

This topic is currently being discussed in the following thread.
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Monday, October 30, 2006

  Video review of the Scooba 5800   
C-Net's News.com just posted a full review, including a video of the Scooba 5800.

The video is located here.

The full review is located here.

You can see the pictures here.
Read more
 

Friday, October 27, 2006

  Roomba Discovery for Pets - First Pictures!   

Wondering what exactly the difference is between a regular Roomba and the new "For Pets" models?  iRobot still has no pictures on their site, but fenny was kind enough to provide detailed pictures in our forum!

Detailed pictures and descriptions are posted in this thread.



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  iRobot earnings blow away estimates   

It's settled: The robots truly are taking over. Consumer and military robotics specialist iRobot proved that humans can be all too human if they're trying to take a shot at the company's earnings power.

Analysts were expecting iRobot to earn $0.09 a share on $53.3 million in revenues for its third quarter. Instead, the company got out a Roomba to sweep Wall Street away: It earned $0.39 a share -- more than four times the estimate -- on $55 million...

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Thursday, August 3, 2006

  First Look: Roomba Scheduler with Dustbin Alert   

Our contest winner Kissmybot is one of the very first people to own the brand new Roomba Scheduler with Dustbin Alert! 

He has posted some pictures of the new model, and compares it to the original Roomba Scheduler.  Read on to see the differences between the two.  Apparantly Dustbin alert is not the only upgrade that iRobot has included in this bad boy!

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Tuesday, June 6, 2006

  Scooba Exposed: What's Inside This Robotic Maid   
Ever wondered what makes the Scooba tick?

Seth Fogie literally shows you the ins and outs of the Scooba robotic washer.

This topic is currently being discussed in the following thread.
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Sunday, January 8, 2006

  Attack of the RoomBuds!   

The RoomBuds have invaded RoombaReview!  While we were innocently working on our forum expansion, our offices were invaded by a bunch of little disc shaped creatures.  I'm not sure what happened next, but I suspect that Mooba the Cow may have drugged me.

Next thing that I knew, they had taken over a small section of the message boards.  I'm a little frightened by them, so I've decided to let them settle in. 

What is a RoomBud?  The kids at myRoomBud.com say that they are simply costumes to dress up your Roomba.  Personally, I don't think they are quite so innocent.  Here is what other sites are saying about them:

 engadget.com - "The way it scoots around the floor with seeming intelligence, feeds on scraps, and doesn't require daily walks to do its business, the Roomba would seem an ideal alternative to a house pet; all it's missing is a cute, cuddly visage. Now you can give your Roomba the face you always thought it should have with RoomBuds"

USA Today says "...this is just out of hand. I'll allow that the RoomBud is a clever idea, but you're starting to scare your friends."

Gizmodo says "Many users have already named and spoken to their Roombas, so it's really no surprise that they would be interested in these absolutely ridiculous (and somewhat sick, if I may add) animal covers, making these household cleaners seem even more alive."

You can visit the RoomBuds in their new forum, located here.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2005

  Scooba available for Christmas delivery!!   
iRobot has just announced that there will be a limited number os Scooba robotic washers available for Christmas Delivery!

Orders placed before 12 noon on December 14th will be eligible for delivery before the holidays, albeit with a $59 express shipping charge.  (Free shipping is still available, but will not arrive in time for Christmas.)

Here is the link to order the Scooba.

This topic is currently being discussed in this thread.
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  Metapo CleanMate 365 - First Look   

ichiban_jay has posted pictures and a small review of the Metapo CleanMate 365 - an entry level robotic vacuum that retails for $88 at Geeks.com


Read more
 

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

  iRobot Scooba Wins CES Best of Innovations Award   
 BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 29, 2005--iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ:IRBT) today announced the iRobot(R) Scooba(TM) Floor Washing Robot has been honored with the International Consumer Electronic Showcase (CES) "Best of Innovations Design and Engineering" Award in the Home Appliance category. Scooba is the first floor washing robot available for home use. The robot was selected as a winner from a pool of more than 1,000 entries from 164 companies.

Each year since 1989, the International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards recognize the newest consumer electronic technologies that exhibit excellence in design and engineering. Best of Innovations Awards are given to the highly honored products in this group. Last year, the iRobot Roomba(R) Discovery Vacuuming Robot received the award in the Home Appliance category.

"This marks the second year in a row that CES recognized an iRobot product as one of its most innovative technologies," said Greg White, executive vice president and general manager, iRobot. "The Scooba builds on the success of the Roomba Vacuuming Robot, taking the utility of home robots to a new level."

Scooba's innovative cleaning process allows the robot to simultaneously prep, wash, scrub and dry hard floors, all at the touch of a button. Unlike a conventional mop that spreads dirty water on the floor, Scooba applies only fresh water and cleaning solution to the floor from a clean tank. Scooba can clean wet spills in addition to dirt and grime, and it is safe for use on all sealed, hard floor surfaces, including wood and tile. The iRobot Scooba Floor Washing Robot will be available at retail outlets in the first quarter of 2006 and can be pre-ordered online at irobot.com.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

  iRobot shares jump 11.25% in trading debut   
"CEO says money will be used to fund acquisitions

With its PackBot becoming the first robot to ring the opening bell at the Nasdaq Stock Market in New York yesterday, Burlington's iRobot Corp. made its debut as a public company and shot up 11.25 percent for the day.

Angle said the IPO succeeded because ''we were able to convey to potential investors that the age of practical robots is upon us."

With the company's Roomba vacuum cleaning robots now in about 1 percent of American households, there is plenty of room for growth both here and abroad, he said. ''These robots are not gadgets for the digerati," Angle said. ''They're serious household appliances."

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Wednesday, November 2, 2005

  Scooba now available for preorder from iRobot!   

iRobot is now accepting pre-orders for the Scooba - The world's first robotic floor washer.  iRobot is estimating delivery in 8-10 weeks, so it would appear that if it does ship before Christmas, pre-ordering might be the only way to receive it before then. 

The Scooba preps, washes, scrubs and dries your floor - all by itself. 

You can pre-order the Scooba here.

Read more
 

Saturday, October 15, 2005

  iRobot launches brand new website   

 iRobot has done a major revision to it's website. Check it out here:
http://www.irobot.com

The new website includes more thorough and updated information, all new sections, new pictures, a new streamlined, easier to navigate design, as well as an all new international section that should be extremely useful for people outside the US. Check out the new international page here:
http://www.irobot.com/sp.cfm?pageid=136

The new site also includes new product videos, such as one for Roomba Scheduler, this video shows the same Coverage Per Room comparison video that was shown on HSN for the 2.1, it also includes an excellent example of Roomba automaticaly adjusting to a different floor type, very cool. Check out the new Roomba Scheduler video and more info on the Roomba at the new Home Robots section here:
http://www.irobot.com/sp.cfm?pageid=122

The new site includes a redesigned iRobot Store section, and as soon as you go there you can see special promotions and offers on iRobot's products. Now get this, when you go there now you can see an absolutely crazy deal which gives you $100 worth of accessories for FREE! Check it out here:
http://www.irobotstore.com

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

  The end of the circle dance?  iRobot releases Roomba OSMO firmware update!   
First came the scheduler pack, which was the first product released by iRobot that had the ability to upgrade the firmware of the Roomba to give it new capabilities, and now we are hearing reports that technical support has been sending out the Roomba OSMO to update the firmware on your Roomba with an apparant fix for the dreaded 'circle dance'. 

madrid sent in pictures of the device, along with reports that not only did it fix her circle dance problem, but it improved performance as well.  It would seem that it incorporates many, if not all of the 2.1 firmware updates - which is great news for all of those people who don't want to spend $59 on the scheduler pack to upgrade their Roomba to 2.1.

This topic is currently being discussed in this thread.
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Saturday, September 10, 2005

  HSN is now selling the Roomba Scheduler.   

The Roomba Scheduler is now being carried by HSN and is debuting as 'Today's Special' for the introductory price of $269.90.  The price is expected to increase to $299.90 tomorrow.  Shipping is free.  

Update:
The price is now $299.90

This topic is currently being discussed in this thread.

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Monday, August 1, 2005

  Roomba Scheduler now available for purchase.   
iRobot is now listing the Roomba Scheduler as in stock and available for purchase on their website.  The price is $329.99. Shipping is normally $19.95, but if you use this link shipping is free.

Thanks to  sean_gmu  for the info!

This topic is currently being discussed in this thread.

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Friday, July 29, 2005

  Confirmed! Roomba Discovery SE gets the new Roomba 2.1 updates!   

Diane from Hammacher Schlemmer has confirmed that the 20+ hardware and software enhancements from the new 2.1 version are now included in the Roomba Discovery SE, and all new Roomba Discovery SE's sold by Hammacher Schlemmer include all of the following enhancements:


iRobot's new AWARE robotic intelligence provides greater room coverage.
A redesigned cleaning system with improved brushes which improves brush contact with floors and gives you better cleaning efficiency.
Easier cleaning.
Improved robot durability.
New brush bearings resist hair build up.
New Software that improves Roomba's cleaning efficiency.
Improved charge circuitry to provide longer overall battery life.
Improved side brush design.
Improved balance of the vacuum impeller.
Improved vacuum bin contacts.
Improved wire routing for system durability.
Optimized sensors for system efficiency.
Overall 20 enhancements to both hardware and software.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

  iRobot files for $115 million IPO   

"iRobot Corp., the maker of the Roomba floor vacuuming robot and PackBot tactical military robots, filed with regulators on Wednesday to raise up to $115 million in an initial public offering of common stock.

The Burlington, Massachusetts, company said in a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan are the lead underwriters for the offering."

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Monday, July 11, 2005

  Roomba 2.1.1 released?   

HSN is now carrying a new version of the Roomba 2.1.  The old model number was 4130, this model number is 4136.

<Update>
crestedmom pointed out that this is most likely just a new bundle of the 4130. 
The new bundle contains 2 virtual walls, 5 extra filters, and the wireless remote control.  The old bundle had only 1 virtual wall, 1 extra filter, the remote control and the homebase, but was priced $50 higher. 

This topic is currently being discussed in this thread.
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Friday, June 24, 2005

  Roomba Scheduler coming from iRobot in August   

iRobot will release a new version of its robotic vacuum cleaner, called the Roomba Scheduler, that comes with a brand new programmable remote and lets users schedule automatic vacuuming times. The vacuum itself comes with improved software, but is otherwise identical to the Roomba Discovery SE currently on sale.
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Monday, June 13, 2005

  Brand new Roomba 2.1 model spotted!   

It would seem that there is a new Blue version of the Roomba Discovery called the "Roomba 2.1".  iRobot has confirmed that this is a new revision with over 20 enhancements over the original Roomba Discovery series, and, for now at least, it is exclusively available at Home Shopping Network.

This topic is currently being discussed in this thread.

Read more
 

Monday, May 23, 2005

  iRobot announces the Scooba:  The World's first Robotic Floor Washer!   
iRobot has teamed up with Clorox to create the iRobot Scooba.

The Scooba is the World's first Robotic Floor Washer, and iRobot CEO Colin Angle claims that it will revolutionize the way people clean their floors.  The Scooba is designed to scrub and dry hardwood floors automatically.

Scooba, which will go on sale by the end of the year at a still undecided price, works in four stages. A high-velocity jet stream pushes loose particles into a dirty-water compartment. Then two nozzles squirt cleaning fluid from a clean tank, and a mustache brush spreads it around. A scrubbing brush then rubs the floor and, finally, a squeegee sucks the dirty liquid into the dirty tank. iRobot's sales pitch: the separate clean and dirty compartments allow Scooba to do a better job than humans, who tend to spread dirty water around. "We are not just going to replace mopping, we are going to obsolete it," Angle says. Humans, we imagine, will gladly turn over this particular chore to our automated friends.
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Monday, April 11, 2005

  RoombaHelp.com launches.   

roombafan19 has launched a new Roomba tip site - RoombaHelp.com

The very first entry is one of the most detailed tutorials yet with all of the steps needed to fix the dreaded 'Circle Dance'. 

Read more
 

Friday, March 25, 2005

  iRobot increases the MSRP of the Roomba Discovery and Discovery SE   

iRobot has increased the MSRP of the Roomba Discovery to $279.99 and the Roomba Discovery SE to $299.99.

The price increase is effective immediately, but many retailers are still selling at the old prices.  iRobot is requiring all retailers to raise the price to the new MSRP within the next couple of weeks.

If your interested in purchasing the Discovery or the Discovery SE, I would suggest that you buy one now before the price increase takes effect. 

Find the best price on the Roomba Discovery SE

Find the best price on the Roomba Discovery

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

  Robot soldiers roll closer to the battlefield   

The American military is working on a new generation of soldiers, far different from the army it has.

"They don't get hungry," said Gordon Johnson of the Joint Forces Command at the Pentagon. "They're not afraid. They don't forget their orders. They don't care if the guy next to them has just been shot. Will they do a better job than humans? Yes."

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Thursday, January 20, 2005

  Sega takes leash off robot dog   

Watch out Aibo. There's a new dog in town.

Sony launched the market for robotic dogs in 1999 with the release of Aibo. But there's new competition from rival Sega Toys.

On Wednesday, the Japanese electronics specialist took the wraps off its latest invention in Tokyo, a robotic canine known as idog that can be used to compose and play music. It also dances to the beat.

Read more
 

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

    
A robot being put into service in the pharmacy at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center will do everything except give shots.

The robot will mix intravenous medications and prepare syringes something officials say should reduce the potential for errors and improve patient safety...

Read more
 

Friday, December 10, 2004

    
Ever wonder what the world looks like from your Roombas point of view? 

Andy Carvin decided to find out, and he posted a video at his website.
Read more
 

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    
In 2003, the United Nations Economic Commission forecast that sales of vacuum cleaning robots would reach 400,000 by 2006. On October 25th, 2004, iRobot announced the sale of its millionth Roomba, far exceeding the UN forecast!
Read more
 

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

    
"RFID will be worth it so we can have a pickup robot.

Although the pickup 'bot is probably more than a decade away, here's how it might work: Every item in your house socks, eyeglasses, Cheez-It boxes, hockey sticks will eventually come from the store with a tiny, almost invisible RFID tag attached. The tag will contain some information about its item, like "I am a box of SpongeBob Cheez-Its that expired last February." The tag will be able to transmit that data wirelessly over a short distance."

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Monday, October 4, 2004

    
"Canadian Tire will offer Roomba Red in the vacuum section of some of its 455 stores, and soon from iRobot's website. Offered for the first time in a Canadian retailer, Roomba Red sells for about $249 (Cdn.). "
Read more
 

Friday, October 1, 2004

    
"One local fire department has a robot on the force.

With help from State Senator Donna Boley, who secured matching state funds, the Mineral Wells Fire Department recently purchased "Sparky," a remote controlled dog driving a firetruck.

Firefighters control Sparky. He can talk to kids and kids can ask him fire prevention questions. They plan to bring Sparky to schools next week for National Fire Education Week.

The total cost for the robot was $10,000. "
Read more
 

Friday, September 17, 2004

    
Good news for those of us that are not fortunate enough to have enough real Cockroaches of our own, a team of scientists at U.C. Berkley have developed a robotic cockroach for us to enjoy.  Oh yeah, and supposedly it will help with understanding how they move around as well...

 "The hallmark of life is movement," said Robert Full, professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley and leader of the team. "Yet, no single systems-level model, reaching from neurons to muscles to the skeleton to the whole body, can explain the control that makes movement possible. You have so many nerves and so many muscles, how in the world do you actually move forward?"

" Researchers from UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan, Princeton University, Cornell University and Montana State University will focus on RHex, a short, six-legged robot that scampers like a cockroach, as a working model of the principles they're seeking to uncover. By tweaking the robot and using it as a physical model, they hope to tease apart the complex neural and muscular networks in insects. "

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

    

News.com writes about the amazing RoboLobster, a slithering snake like robot, robotic flies, fish and even a wall-climbing gecko robot.

"Their field is often referred to as biomimetics, and the researchers who are developing robotic lobsters, flies, dogs, fish, snakes, geckos and cockroaches believe that machines inspired by biology will be able to operate in places where today's generation of robots can't go."

Read more
 

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

    
"Fujitsu Ltd. said Monday it has developed a robot able to lead the way and use a cart to wheel baggage, like a porter. "

"The robot, which is 130 centimeters tall and has a head and two arms, is expected to make its debut on the market in June 2005. Fujitsu sees it being used to help people at offices, department stores or airports. "
Read more
 


    

The Age has an interesting article on the state of robotics and where we are headed.  From the Roomba to the Trilobite and the Robosapien to C-3PO - it discusses how robotics are poised to invade our homes in the next few years.

"Future Horizons, a semi-conductor analyst company based in Kent, in England, believes that by 2010 there will be 55.5 million robots, in a world market worth more than $75 billion - up from $6.13 billion last year. "

"The electronics industry is on the cusp of a robotics wave, a period in which applications are aimed at labour-saving and extending human skills," it reports. "

"Of those, it says that 39 million will be domestic robots and 10.5 million "domestic intelligent service" robots."

Read more
 

Monday, September 13, 2004

    
It may eat flies and stink to high heaven, but if this robot works, it will be an important step towards making robots fully autonomous.

To survive without human help, a robot needs to be able to generate its own energy. So Chris Melhuish and his team of robotics experts at the University of the West of England in Bristol are developing a robot that catches flies and digests them in a special reactor cell that generates electricity...

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Friday, September 10, 2004

    
It could be called a mechanical miracle -- a robot that walks on water.

With inspiration from nature and some help from research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a team led by Carnegie Mellon engineering professor Metin Sitti built a tiny robot that can walk on water, much like the insects known as water skimmers or Jesus bugs...
Read more
 

Friday, July 9, 2004

    
iRobot announced a whole new line of Roomba robotic vacuums - the 'Roomba Discovery series'.

These totally redesigned Roombas will all contain a Dustbin that is 3x larger than previous models and a new dirt detection sensor that allows the Roomba to focus more cleaning time on dirtier areas. The flagship Discovery model will also automatically return to it's self-charging home base when it's battery is low, and charging time is now a reasonable 3 hours on all of the new models except for the entry level Roomba Red, which will have a 7 hour charging time.

All of the new models also come with a 1 year factory warranty standard.

The new models are as follows:
Roomba Red - MSRP $149.95
Roomba - MSRP $199.95
Roomba Discovery - MSRP $249.95
Roomba Discovery SE - MSRP $269.95
Read more
 





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