iRobot has a passion for washing floors

iRobot is a bit behind in the robot vacuum and mop segment, while Asian competition continues to multiply models. The American manufacturer is looking to catch up with two new mid-range references.

While the market offers robot vacuum cleaners equipped with a mop for washing floors. iRobot has stayed (too) long on its own segmentation, with its Roomba vacuum robots on one side and its Braava floor mopping robots on the other. In 2022, it finally launches its first hybrid model, the Roomba Combo J7 Plus, a product which has proven convincing. Its mop that goes from under the robot to the top of its mobile chassis to avoid wetting carpets is a great idea.

The American manufacturer finally seems to have understood that it had to persevere and this is the case here with two new robot vacuum cleaners, the Roomba Combo I5 Plus and Roomba Combo J5 Plus.

Two fraternal twins

Let’s say it right away, the mechanized mop of the Combo J7 Plus is not present on these two new references. Of course, its design is certainly expensive, but would have brought real added value and originality to these two models.

Unlike the competition, which often relies on vibration mops or spinning pads, iRobot relies solely on the movement of the robot and the downward pressure of the mop. A technology that he already masters very well thanks to his Braava range.

Both products come with a self-emptying base, but it does not offer to fill the robot’s water tray or wash the mop, it is only used to empty the robot’s dust tray. The manufacturer does not seem to want to take this route yet, or it may be a little later in the year, since iRobot should announce a new mystery model in September.

On the surface, we have two robots that are very similar aesthetically and in cleaning and vacuuming technologies. Both come with two bins, one for vacuuming and the second for vacuuming and wet cleaning with a capacity of 210 ml. If the two robots are equipped with the same technology linking camera and laser rangefinders for mapping and navigation, the difference between the two products lies at the level of software and intelligence.

Only the Combo J5+ has obstacle identification technology, from toys to shoes to animal droppings. It can recognize litter boxes, the main pieces of furniture and even detect the dirtiest areas to treat them in depth. It also authorizes the creation of prohibited areas (vacuuming or cleaning) and the creation of virtual walls. This last point is available for the Combo i5+, provided that you purchase virtual wall modules in addition.

The Roomba Combo i5+ is already available for 699 euros and the Roomba Combo J5+ in September, but we only know the price in the United States which is 799 dollars.

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