Radically shrunk: iRobot Scooba 230

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iRobot today has announced the second generation of the Scooba mopping robot. While the height of the robot is the same (3.5" or 8.9 cm) as its predecessor's, the diameter was reduced to about half (6.5" or 16.5 cm). This makes the iRobot Scooba 230 the smallest floor washing robot on the market, and allows it to go places that were unreachable for robots before. The cleaning technology remained the same. The robot wets the floor on the front, scrubs the dirt little behind the wheels, and vacuums the dirty water or cleaning solution at the back. Clean and dirty fluids are handled separately, but very cleverly. The small space did not allow engineers to hide two fluid tanks, therefore they used one tank with two cells. The divider between the cells move as the volume of clean liquid shrinks, making space to the dirty fluids. Always using only clean water helps the robot to clean 97% of common household bacteria. The cleaning and refilling of the robot become a lot easier, thanks to the removable bottom plate that contains the rubbing brushes and the squeegee.

The navigation of the robot is finally controlled by the same system found in the the latest Roomba series. The iAdapt Technology makes 64 decisions every second to select the most appropriate action out of the 40 available. This allows the Scooba 230 to navigate into tight spaces and helps the robot to get around even in cluttered rooms. The robot moves around randomly as its predecessor, but thanks to the more intelligent algorithms and sensors it is a lot more efficient. The new robot can clean along the walls, and respects the signals of the virtual walls as well. Operation time can be adjusted to suite smaller areas, where 20 minutes of cleaning is enough. In max cleaning mode it runs for 45 minutes and cleans about 14 sqm (150 sqft).

iRobot Scooba 230 will be available from this spring for $299.

Press release: 

iRobot Expands Popular Home Robot Line with the World’s Most Compact Floor Washing Robot and the Next Generation Roomba

With iAdapt Technology and Innovative Design, iRobot has Every Room of the House Covered

BEDFORD, Mass., Jan. 3, 2011 – iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), a leader in delivering robotic technology-based solutions, today announced two new home robots to do your dirty work: the iRobot Scooba® 230 – a floor washing robot small enough to clean in tight spaces and around bathroom fixtures – and the iRobot Roomba® 700 Series, the smartest and most effective Roomba vacuum cleaning robots to date. Both will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 6.

iRobot Scooba 230 and iRobot Roomba 700 Series use iAdapt™ Responsive Cleaning Technology, the most intuitive, flexible and effective way to clean your floors. This system of software and sensors monitors the environment 64 times per second, using dozens of behaviors to ensure the entire floor is thoroughly cleaned. The dirt-centric technology ensures thorough coverage, including under and around furniture, and multiple passes over the areas that need it most.

“These new robots represent our ongoing commitment to developing innovative products that make a difference in people’s lives,” said Jeff Beck, president of iRobot’s Home Robots division. “While Roomba is already the world’s best-selling vacuum cleaning robot, we continue to make improvements to ensure it is the best on the market and stays at the head of the pack. With the compact Scooba 230, we focused on reducing size without compromising effectiveness and navigability. The launch of Scooba 230 has effectively made one of people’s least favorite household chores, cleaning the bathroom, a whole lot easier.”

Small but Mighty
Scooba 230 is a powerful and compact cleaning machine. At 3.5 inches tall and 6.5 inches in diameter, the robot easily cleans in tight spaces, including under and around furniture and bathroom fixtures. The robot’s three-stage cleaning system washes, scrubs and squeegees floors, neutralizing up to 97 percent of common household bacteria*. Scooba 230 holds enough cleaning solution to scrub up to 150 square feet of linoleum, tile or sealed hardwood floors in a single cleaning session.

Unlike with a mop and bucket, Scooba only uses clean solution to wash your floors, never dirty water. Scooba 230’s water management system includes an active reservoir that keeps the cleaning solution and dirty water separate inside the robot. While the robot is cleaning, the active reservoir shrinks in size as cleaning solution is put down on the floor, freeing up space in the robot to hold the dirty water that is picked up. Scooba doesn’t move dirt (or dirty water) around – it gets rid of it.

Scooba uses a series of lights and chimes to let you know it has successfully finished cleaning. The bottom plate of the robot snaps on and off without tools, making it fast and easy to rinse the scrubbing brushes and the squeegee after each use.

Virtual Wall® technology creates an invisible beam that the robot won’t cross, keeping Scooba 230 in the rooms you want to clean and out of the ones you don’t. Cliff sensors ensure the robot automatically avoids stairs and drop-offs while cleaning.

The World’s Best-Selling Vacuum Cleaning Robot Just Got Even Better
The award-winning Roomba vacuum cleaning robot has been revolutionizing the way people clean their homes since 2002, and iRobot has sold more than five million home robots worldwide. The sixth-generation iRobot Roomba 700 Series includes the same state-of-the-art features that Roomba users have come to know and introduces new innovations that make the robot more effective and easier to use. The newest Roomba robots include an updated and improved three-part cleaning system along with several new features and upgrades:

  • Advanced cleaning head improves overall cleaning from previous models, including 20 percent better pickup of fine particulates.
  • New AeroVac™ Series 2 bin with a powerful vacuum maximizes air flow through Roomba's cleaning head to pull more hair and debris off the brushes and into the bin.
  • Two HEPA-type air filters keep fine household dust from re-circulating in your home.
  • Dirt Detect Series 2 (available on Roomba 770 and 780) uses an acoustic sensor to detect excessive amounts of small and hard debris, such as sand, and an optical sensor to detect larger and soft debris, such as popcorn. Dirt Detect Series 1, which uses the acoustic sensor, is available on the Roomba 760.
  • With a Persistent Pass Cleaning Pattern, Roomba uses a brush-like, back-and-forth motion to focus its cleaning when it finds an excessively dirty area.
  • New power management software results in 50 percent longer battery life than previous Roomba generations, ensuring hundreds of cleaning cycles with proper use.
  • Soft-touch bumper with a new polymer coating protects walls and furniture.
  • Full Bin Indicator light turns on when Roomba detects a full dust bin (available on Roomba 770 and 780).
  • Touchpad interface provides state-of-the-art control using just your fingertips and eliminates buttons (available on Roomba 780).

Scooba 230 plus Essentials Kit and Roomba 700 Series will be available in spring 2011 at www.irobot.com.

* When used as directed, laboratory testing results indicate removal of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria after two passes of the Scooba floor washing robot. Individual results may vary.

About iRobot Corp.
iRobot designs and builds robots that make a difference. The company’s home robots help people find smarter ways to clean, and its government and industrial robots protect those in harm’s way. iRobot’s consumer and military robots feature iRobot Aware® robot intelligence systems, proprietary technology incorporating advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence. For more information about iRobot, please visit www.irobot.com.

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