Where can iRobot go next after giving us a Roomba that can dump its own dustbin? How about a Roomba that can also tag team floor cleaning with a robot mop? The new Roomba s9+ and Braava jet m6 work in tandem: Once your floors are vacuumed, the mop automatically wakes up and gets to work. The Roomba s9+ ($1,299) is even more powerful than the previous version, with a new design that finally lets it clean walls and corners better. The Braava ($499) is the company's largest robot mop yet, with the ability to clean around 1,000 square feet at once. Together, they're iRobot's biggest play yet to keep your home sparkling.
The first thing you'll notice about the Roomba s9+ is that it doesn't have the classic circular Roomba shape. Instead, iRobot took a cue from its competitor Neato and made the new vacuum flat on one end. The company says that was done to help it get closer to walls -- something that its new corner cleaning brush also helps with (it's now made up of five smaller brushes, instead of just three). Additionally, the s9+ offers forty times the suction of the Roomba 600-series, 30 percent wider rubber brushes and a 3D sensor, which will help it move around large rooms and navigate walls and corners.
The Braava jet m6, meanwhile, looks like a grown up version of its cute bathroom and kitchen cleaning mop bot. It works just like that earlier device too: Just fill up its reservoir, slap on a cleaning pad, and you're good to go. If you choose to have it wet clean your floors, it'll spit out of a bit of water, take a back and forth pass with its pad, and repeat until it covers your floors or runs out of charge. It's also smart enough to detect stubborn messes and spend more time mopping them up. There's a dry pad option for quicker cleaning, which relies on electrostatic to pick up debris.
Both the Roomba s9+ and Braava jet m6 will map your home as they clean. Once they develop an accurate floorplan, which usually takes several cleaning jobs, you can pull up the iRobot app and label them appropriately. That's helpful for when you want to clean a single room, and it also makes the Alexa integration more useful. Shouting, "Alexa, tell Roomba to clean the office," will send the intrepid little bot there to work, and when it's done it'll return to its base to recharge. You don't have to do anything else, unless it gets stuck somewhere along the way. The previous Roomba i7+ also mapped your floors, but the new model's 3D sensor will help it deal with obstacles better than before.
Now that iRobot has a bot mop that's as smart as the Roomba (it's basically using the i7's internals), it makes sense for the company to let its floor cleaning bots cooperate. In a brief demo, I watched as a Roomba cleaned a small hotel bedroom (and doing a great job of getting the corners vacuumed). Once it returned to its base, the Braava jet m6 got to work automatically. For now, the two devices only communicate to trade off cleaning jobs. They both map your home separately, and store their own mapping data. iRobot says eventually, your devices might be able to share their mapping data, but that'll take some work since a mop and vacuum will see your home differently. The Braava jet m6 is only useful on bare floors, after all, while the Roomba can hop between carpets and floors with ease.
As usual, though, the privilege of having the company's latest cleaning bots will cost you. The Roomba s9+ goes for an eye-watering $1,299 with its Clean Base, while the Braava jet m6 is $499. Alternatively, you can snag the Roomba for $999 and pick up the Base separately later for $349. (In comparison, the Roomba i7+ costs $949 with its base.) Each robot also requires a steady supply of replacement equipment from iRobot: dirt disposal bags for the clean base will run you $15 for a pack of three, while wet and dry pads for the Braava jet cost $8 for a box of seven. Reusable wet and dry mop pads are another $25 a pair.
I can't imagine many people will lay down $1,699 for both of iRobot's new gadgets, but this is just the first step towards integrating its products. For now, the company is focusing on early adopters with deep wallets, but hopefully it'll learn a thing or two about having its cheaper devices communicate down the line. At the very least, there's not much stopping the $1,099 i7+ from also working together with the m6.
You'll be able to snag the Roomba s9+ and Braava jet m6 from iRobot's site today, and it'll hit other retailers on June 9th.