Since launching in 2002, the Roomba has become the closest thing modern homeowners can get to Rosie the robot maid from The Jetsons. A new feature in the latest model of iRobot's smart vacuum makes it even smarter—meaning even less work for users. After cleaning the floors of your home, the Roomba i7+ will empty itself, The Verge reports.
Previously, one of the most annoying parts of vacuuming—cleaning out the dust compartment—was unavoidable, even for users of the largely autonomous Roomba. In fact, Roomba owners might spend even more time cleaning out dust bins than other vacuum owners. Because the Roomba is more compact than the average vacuum cleaner, its bin fills up more quickly, sometimes even forcing users to empty it in the middle of a cleaning session.
With the Roomba i7+, the promise of being able to switch on your vacuum and completely forget about it is becoming more realistic. As soon as the vacuum senses that its bin has reached max capacity, it heads over to its base, which, in addition to acting as a charging station, can store all the dirt the Roomba has collected on its cleaning route. The Clean Base can suck up around 30 bins' worth of waste before it needs to be dumped out. According to iRobot, that means you'll only have to clean it out every few weeks.
The Roomba i7+ also comes with another new feature that makes it a smarter housekeeper than previous models. Using the iRobot app, you can program your device to learn up to 10 different floor plans so it knows which spots in your house to clean and which to skip. You can even tell your Roomba how often it should clean specific rooms, or use your Google Home or Alexa voice assistant to ask it to start vacuuming on demand.
The convenience doesn't come cheap, though. To get the new Roomba with the self-emptying capabilities, you'll have to spend $950. That price includes the i7+ and the base station (dust bags are extra, at $15 for a pack of three). If you're interested in buying the Roomba i7+ without the Clean Base, you can purchase it on its own for $700.
[h/t The Verge]