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In brief: iRobot has long offered robotic vacuums and robotic mops to make life a bit easier but never have the two crossed – until now. On Tuesday, the robot maker announced the Roomba Combo j7+ - a 2-in-one billed as the world's most advanced robot vacuum and mop.
Keith Hartsfield, chief product officer at iRobot, said that up to this point, many 2-in-1s delivered a poor user experience either because they required separate, time-consuming cleaning jobs or created more mess by not lifting the mopping pad high enough to avoid carpet and rugs.
iRobot's solution is capable of vacuuming and mopping in a single cleaning job thanks to a retractable mop that lifts high to keep carpets dry. Embedded sensors help the robot detect various floor types and initiate the appropriate cleaning tools, and with the included base station, you won't have to think about emptying the bin for months.
iRobot's latest is smarter than ever, too. According to the company, it can recognize more than 80 common objects to clean specific areas on command, like around litter boxes, dishwasher, toilets and more. The bot can also detect and avoid pet bowls, pet waste, socks, backpacks, cords and shoes, and it understands nearly 600 voice commands.
Optionally, the iRobot Home app allows users to select which rooms to clean and adjust the amount of cleaning solution they want the mop to dispense.
The iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ is available to pre-order from today for $1,099 and ships on October 4. It'll also be available as part of the iRobot Select membership program starting in 2023.
Related reading: Amazon is buying Roomba maker iRobot for $1.7 billion in cash
For $29 a month, the membership includes a top-of-the-line Roomba with automatic dirt disposal, delivery of accessories like filters and brushes when you need them plus protection against accidental damages. After three years, you can trade up to a new robot. Notably, you'll have to sign a two-year agreement and pay a $49 activation fee. It'd be much more attractive without the long-term commitment.