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in “ Tech news in brief ”,
September 09, 2021.

Roomba is on to poops

Roomba j7+.

Roomba j7+. © iRobot.

It’s always something with AI and visual recognition technology... The new Roomba j7+ has a forward-facing camera that recognizes dog poop. “Why does this matter?” you ask. Let me guess, you have neither dog nor Roomba. So let me paint a picture: sometimes Fido has an accident and Roomba runs into the fallout on its cleaning mission. The robot has many movable parts such as wheels and spinning brushes specially designed to gather dry dirt. But when your pet Roomba runs over your other pet’s wet deposit, the rotating parts act as paint rollers, and your house, as a canvas. This happens more often than you’d think, according to a five-year-old article in The Guardian. If you don’t believe me, do a Google or Bing image search, but not around mealtime. At the time, a spokesperson for iRobot, manufacturer of the Roomba, acknowledged, “Quite honestly, we see this a lot,” adding “I can’t say we have the solution yet but it’s certainly something our engineers are aware of.”

Well, years of waiting and hard work by the best minds in the business have finally paid off. Dog and cat (less mentioned but equally problematic) owners eagerly welcome a market solution to their own personal poopocalypse. With its new “Genius 3.0” obstacle detection system, a front camera, AI-powered software, and lights that illuminate dark corners, the Roomba j7+ gingerly scoots around anything that remotely looks like a mammal’s deposit. What’s more, completely confident in its technology, iRobot promises to replace any Roomba j7+ that was somehow unable to “avoid solid pet waste.” Now available for US$ 850.

Ars Technica, Ron Amadeo, “New Roomba promises ‘poopocalypse’ horror stories are a thing of the past.”

IEEE Spectrum, Evan Ackerman, “With new Roomba j7, iRobot wants to understand our homes.”

2021-09-09

 

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