How iRobot’s Roomba Failure Makes Perfect Marketing


More dystopian news for you lot. Ever wanted a robot maid?

Course, we’re only talking about the Roomba here, but it’s basically the same thing, right? We’re taking the steppingstones into that creepy TV show, Humans. However, we don’t view a Roomba as some unnerving tech which haunts our house, instead we view it as ‘a partner’, as iRobot calls it.

For those of you that have been living under a rock and don’t know what a Roomba is, it’s a robot vacuum. Super nifty idea on paper; having this little robot vacuum wandering about your house and doing all the hoovering for you. Imagine going back to the fifties and telling a housewife ‘Hey, why don’t you just use a Roomba?’ or ‘why are you washing your dishes by hand? We have a machine for that’. She’d be gobsmacked. We even have machines that wash our asses for us now. Soon we’ll just have to sit and exist in leisure like that obese futuristic society on W.A.L.L.E.

Anyway, as we were saying. Nifty on paper. But if you type in ‘Roomba dog poop’ into Google, you will be horrified by the results. Past models of the Roomba, you see, have failed to detect what, exactly, they had been cleaning up. And this was an inconvenience (to say the least) for pet-owners. Yup. You can only imagine. Poo-galore.

iRobot’s Roomba failure makes a great story, though, and therefore helps their marketing. All eyes are on them for their new release of the Roomba j7+. We usually view Roombas as an additional pet; some cute, oblivious Labrador pup who is just trying his best. But the new Roomba j7+ has all the characteristics of a sturdy and alert Husky.

The new Roomba j7+ now uses AI to avoid dog poop. An imbedded camera detects all sorts of possible hazards, such as socks, shoes, headphones, wires etc. With the camera, you’re looking through the lens of the Roomba. And if it’s unsure about something it’s cleaning near, it’ll send you a little message and a little picture, and depending on your response, will create a ‘no clean zone’ around it.

The new tech also helps the Roomba not to get stuck underneath cabinets or refrigerators. It also has AI which can name each room it goes into, making for more intelligent mapping of the house. If it recognises a piece of furniture as the sofa, it will know to call this room the ‘Living-room’, or bed for a ‘Bedroom’ etc. There’s also a handy ‘Clean While I’m Away’ function which would be especially handy for those returning commutes to the office.

We have a Roomba of our own, but we call her Molly (our Creative Writer, the current loser of brew and bin darts).

Although iRobot’s Roomba doesn’t clean dishes and make you brews, it’s still a pretty jazzy, futuristic and super smart piece of tech. Fingers crossed we have no more dog poo incidents, though.

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Director / Designer

When Adam isn’t designing websites, you can find him running ultramarathons, cooking up a storm in the Limely kitchen and getting stuck into DIY 🪚

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