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iRobot Advances Voice Intelligence for Home Robots with Amazon Alexa

iRobot works with Amazon Alexa to provide new levels of automation, personalization and control for Roomba and Braava customers

iRobot Corp., the leader in consumer robots, has teamed with Amazon to further advance voice-enabled intelligence for home robots that will result in more thoughtful, proactive smart home automations. As the first to enable robot vacuums to clean specific rooms by voice using Alexa, iRobot is combining the latest advances in navigation, object identification and artificial intelligence to bring smart home customers powerful capabilities to easily control where, when and how their robots clean.

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Powered by iRobot Genius Home Intelligence, iRobot robot vacuums and mops with Imprint Smart Mapping technology learn how best to navigate your floors, remembering specific rooms and certain furniture, to clean where it’s most needed. Using Alexa, iRobot customers can automate routines, personalize cleaning jobs and control how their home is cleaned. Thanks to interactive Alexa conversations and predictive and proactive recommendations, smart home users can experience a new level of personalization and control for their unique homes, schedules, preferences and devices.

iRobot robots with Alexa offer customers among the widest range of voice capabilities and services available on robot vacuums and mops that goes beyond basic start and stop commands, including:

“Roomba, Clean Around the [Object]” – Use Alexa to send your robot to clean a mess right where it happens with precision Clean Zones. Roomba can clean around specific objects that attract the most common messes, like couches, tables and kitchen counters. Simply ask Alexa to “tell Roomba, clean around the couch,” and Roomba knows right where to go.

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iRobot Scheduling with Alexa voice service – Thanks to Alexa’s rich language understanding, customers can have a more natural interaction directing their robot using their voice to schedule cleaning Routines. For example, “Alexa, tell Roomba to clean the kitchen every weeknight at 7 pm,” or “Alexa, tell Braava to mop the kitchen every Sunday afternoon.”

Alexa Announcements – Alexa can let customers know about their robot’s status, like when it needs help or when it has finished a cleaning job, even if your phone isn’t nearby.

Alexa Hunches – The best time to clean is when no one is home. If Alexa has a ‘hunch’ that you’re away, Alexa can begin a cleaning job.
“Smart home products often fail to live up to consumer expectations because they require complex programming for basic functionality and lack the ability to truly interact with the user,” said Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. “We believe robots should be thoughtful and responsive, and clean according to the user’s unique preferences. The combination of advanced navigation, object identification and advanced voice-enabled technologies lets people interact with them in a more natural way, gaining greater control of their smart home. We’re excited to unlock even more intuitive cleaning and smart home experiences by working with Amazon to integrate cutting-edge voice capabilities.”

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iRobot and Amazon will continue working together to improve cleaning and other smart home experiences by developing additional user-friendly voice interactions and home automations. For example, with the latest update to iRobot Genius, iRobot and Amazon customers can now engage in a two-way dialogue with their robots to improve the overall experience. Through Alexa, a Roomba robot vacuum or Braava jet robot mop can let a user know when it has finished a cleaning job, if it needs assistance, or even ask its owner for clarification on a particular cleaning job. Coming soon, iRobot customers will be able to set “Do Not Disturb” times for their connected Roomba robot vacuum or Braava jet robot mop. If a customer tries to initiate a cleaning during a previously designated “Do Not Disturb” time, the robot will clarify with the owner if they want to proceed with cleaning.

“Technology is at its best when it disappears into the background, allowing you to be more present in the world around you. That’s why we’re inventing for a future where devices, services, and artificial intelligence work together to create proactive and personalized experiences,” said David Shearer, vice president, Smart Home at Amazon. “We are excited to bring these experiences to iRobot customers, adding Alexa capabilities that will allow customers to interact with their cleaning robots in new ways.”

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