Dec 14, 2018 | Updated: 07:21 PM EDT

The Roomba 980 From iRobot Gets Smarter Features

Sep 16, 2015 09:37 PM EDT

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Very few can afford to hire hourly house cleaners on a regular basis, and even fewer can afford live-in house help. But everyone can afford a Roomba, especially one bought with a cash back credit card. Recently, iRobot, the company behind the Roomba, made major changes to how the robotic cleaner operates. The Roomba 980 is now equipped with WiFi and a camera, and it dropped its spiraling, circling motions in favor of cleaning a floor area row by row.

For those who are likely to go, “What’s a Roomba?!” A Roomba is a robotic vacuum cleaner that was built to sweep and vacuum floor surfaces. Roombas will also vacuum carpets, and will be able to detect when they’ve reached a steep jump, and will stop accordingly. Roombas have been on the market since 2002.

With the WiFi connection, the Roomba 980’s owner will be able to control their cleaning machine remotely. Roomba works with the iRobot Home App, which lets you control the following functions, and view the following stats, for the Roomba 980:

-Power up the Roomba and let it begin cleaning.

-Schedule cleaning tasks for the Roomba.

-Get a live progress update feed, which includes the length of time the machine has been cleaning, and the number of dirty areas it found.

-Indicates charging status of the device.

-Alerts the owner if the Roomba is stuck on a surface it can’t navigate.

With these monitoring and control functions available for the Roomba owner on their smartphones, cleaning the home while at work is now easier.

The Roomba 980's camera allows the device to map its cleaning areas more effectively. If privacy is a concern, the Roomba 980 deletes its map and the video footage 90 minutes after the cleaning task is done. For those who are wondering about it, the Roomba 980's camera won't be able to double as a security camera, sadly.

More than that, if the Roomba owner would use the device to clean floors while they’re in the house, it would be easier to, say, cook and monitor the Roomba cleaning the living room, or read and check the Roomba’s progress in the kitchen, then head on over to where the Roomba is, if it ever gets itself stuck on some carpet. It’s the perfect cleaning solution for those who are too busy to clean, or who just aren’t interested in household chores.

To see if the Roomba 980 will be worth your investment, here are the stats:

-A Roomba 980 retails for $899.99.

-The most affordable Roomba is at $399.99 (Roomba 650), but it has the least features of the line, and won’t include the capacity to be controlled by the app.

-Home cleaners are priced at $25 to $35 an hour.

-The Roomba 980 is worth 36 hours of a $25 house cleaner, or 25.71 hours for a $35 cleaner. Since a Roomba 980 can clean up to 2 hours on a single charge, this means 18 2-hour sessions for the $25, cleaner, or 13 sessions for the $35 cleaner.

-The Roomba 650 is worth 16 hours at a $25 cleaner’s rate, or around 12 hours on a $35 cleaner’s rates. This translates to 8 sessions at the $25 rate, or 6 sessions on the $35 rate.

Since Roombas last for over 2 years of nonstop cleaning, in terms of value for money, a Roomba is definitely a better investment. Just don’t expect it to pick up your teenage kids’ socks and grimy pants.

The Roomba 980 will be available for purchase today, 9/17/2015, and the Roomba website already has a countdown for its release.

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