With Roomba being the household name that it is, it can be easy to forget that iRobot also makes robots of the outdoor persuasion. In fact, though, the company's been selling its Looj gutter-cleaning bots for five years now, occasionally treating us to demos involving leaves, dirt and fake roofs. Today the company announced the third-generation model, the Looj 330, which has been completely re-tooled to add a four-stage auger, multiple speed settings, an automated "Clean" mode and a lithium-ion battery. It's also a bit more compact this time around, increasing the likelihood it'll fit your gutter.
Meanwhile, for those of you who can't bring yourselves to spend $700 on a robotic vacuum cleaner, iRobot is adding some entry-level models to its Roomba lineup: the 620, 630 and 650. Though these cost about half the price of the flagship offerings, they actually feature many of the same technologies, including iAdapt, the sensor arrangement that allows Roomba to crisscross the floor like it does. Here, though, the cosmetic design is different, and you also won't find bells and whistles like capacitive touchscreens or fine Hepa filters. What's more, these guys only use acoustic sensors to detect debris, whereas the pricier models add optical sensors to pick up on lighter particles, like fuzz.
All of these products are available now, with the Looj 330 going for $299 and the Roomba 600 series starting at $330. Not in the market for a cleaning bot? You can at least get a vicarious thrill out of our Luge hands-on video, embedded after the break for your viewing pleasure. And yes, those are Goldfish and m&m's flying out of that gutter. It rains snack food here in New York City.
iRobot Looj 330
iRobot Roomba 620, 630 and 650
iRobot Looj 330 and Roomba 600 Series hands-on
iRobot launches new indoor and outdoor home robots
iRobot Looj® gutter cleaning robot and iRobot Roomba® 600 Series vacuum cleaning robots released with new technologies and design
BEDFORD, Mass. – August 14, 2012 -- iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), a leader in delivering robotic technology-based solutions, today announced the launch of a new iRobot Looj® gutter cleaning robot and new iRobot Roomba® 600 Series vacuum cleaning robots.
Looj 330 takes a dangerous job and does it for you, using a high-velocity, four-stage auger to blast away leaves, dirt and clogs while brushing gutters clean. The new entry-level Roomba 600 Series robots, which complement the top-of-the-line 700 Series robots, offer the most up-to-date cleaning system and incorporate optimized airflow and an improved brush design for more thorough and effective cleaning. Roomba 600 Series will replace the Roomba 500 Series in iRobot's dry floor care line-up in most regions worldwide.
"iRobot has sold more than 8 million home robots worldwide, by focusing on cleaning performance and innovation across the company's portfolio of home robots," said Jeff Beck, chief operating officer of iRobot Corporation. "Regardless of whether our robots are washing or vacuuming floors, cleaning gutters or the pool, our global customers want high quality products with state-of-the-art technology that perform a single task exceptionally well. The Looj 330 and Roomba 600 Series are the result of combining innovative research and customer feedback in our development process."
The releases of the Looj 330 and Roomba 600 Series robots underscore the growing global acceptance of and demand for practical robots, particularly for performing automated home maintenance tasks.
The iRobot Looj 330: Cleans gutters on its own at the press of a button.
Enhanced cleaning performance. Smarter operational features. Looj blasts away leaves, dirt and clogs while brushing gutters clean. Featuring a high-velocity, four-stage auger, Looj travels down your gutter on its own, sensing and adapting to debris to provide the most effective cleaning.
- A four-stage auger spins at 500 RPM to blast away leaves, dirt and clogs.
- In CLEAN mode, Looj automatically senses and adapts to debris, providing the most
- A 7.2V Lithium-ion battery provides superior performance for a longer time.
- Multiple speeds let you spend more time clearing away tough clogs.
- A scraper boosts cleaning performance and clears a path for the robot.
- A lower profile design enables Looj to fit in more gutters.
- An increased communications range – up to 50-feet – between the robot and remote control handle allows Looj to clean longer stretches of gutter without having to move the ladder.
- Interchangeable auger flaps allow for greater performance.
- Cleans up to a 30-foot section of gutter in 5 minutes on average.
- Cleans 200 linear feet per battery charge on average.
Additional Looj 330 features:
- Detachable carrying handle doubles as the wireless remote control.
- Travels under gutter straps and over downspout holes.
- Easy to clean with a hose.
- Waterproof in up to 8 inches of water.
- Prevents overreaching and repeated trips up and down the ladder.
The iRobot Roomba 600 Series: A simple cleaning experience from beginning to end.
Roomba uses a patented three-stage cleaning system to vacuum carpets, tile, laminate and hardwood floors. AeroVacTM Technology and a new brush design maximize cleaning results, with less hair remaining tangled on bristles and a more evenly filled bin. Roomba 600 Series robots are designed to more effectively handle hair, pet fur, lint, carpet fuzz and other fibers than previous generation robots.
- AeroVac Technology optimizes airflow so the bin fills evenly and needs to be emptied less often.
- The improved brush design and optimized airflow remove more hair from the robot's brushes, providing more thorough cleaning and reduced maintenance.
- The 600 Series has new styling with a splash of color. Additional Roomba 600 Series features:
- Onboard scheduling allows you to preset up to seven times per week for Roomba to clean when it's most convenient for you. (Model 650 and higher.)
- Using iAdapt® Responsive Cleaning Technology, iRobot's advanced proprietary system of software and sensors, Roomba vacuums every section of your floor multiple times for a comprehensive cleaning.
- With Dirt DetectTM, Roomba uses an acoustic sensor to help find dirtier areas and spends more time cleaning them.
- Roomba automatically docks and recharges on its Home Base® when it finishes vacuuming or when the battery is running low.
- A Virtual Wall® barrier can be used to create an invisible barrier that Roomba won't cross, keeping the robot in the rooms you want to clean and out of the ones you don't.
The iRobot Looj 330 gutter cleaning robot is available in North America at www.irobot.com for $299.
The iRobot Roomba 600 Series is available globally online at www.irobot.com and from select retailers. Roomba 600 Series pricing starts at $329.99.