If autonomy in and of itself doesn’t make your Roomba the best vacuum cleaner of all time, perhaps If This Then That integration (IFTTT) will do the trick. Just a few months after everyone’s favorite self-driving vacuum cleaner added Amazon Alexa compatibility to its list of tricks, it also introduced IFTTT applets. Now, you can not only talk to your Roomba, but also trigger it to begin its cleaning cycle with a series of actions.
Roomba’s Wi-Fi connected vacuums can now start cleaning when you leave the house, pause cleaning if you’re on the phone, or even post to Twitter when you’ve finished vacuuming (because who doesn’t want to gloat about a clean home?). Currently, there are 11 applets available; you can activate Roomba before an event calendar, or have your Hue lights blink when Roomba is finished. You can also increase the vacuum’s cleaning frequency using IFTTT weather service triggers, so anytime there is a high pollen count, your Roomba will go into overdrive.
“While there is no shortage of smart devices for consumers to integrate into their home, getting these devices to work together in a cohesive manner can be challenging,” Gary Hall, senior director of digital product management, said in a statement. “From voice command services, like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, to IFTTT Applets, iRobot is continually pursuing ways to help its customers automate and simplify their daily cleaning needs.”
This builds upon the previous announcement of the Roomba 890 and Roomba 690 Wi-Fi-connected vacuuming robots’ Alexa compatibility. Both these connected bots can be scheduled to clean up to seven times a week using the iRobot Home app, and the Roomba skill for Amazon Alexa is now available across the entire range of connected Roomba vacuums. To get Roomba to start tidying up, simply say, ‘Alexa, ask Roomba to begin cleaning,’ your autonomous cleaning device is smarter (and more obedient) than ever.
“Adding Wi-Fi connectivity and iRobot Home App support to our Roomba 890 and 690 vacuuming robots enriches our customers’ interaction and experience,” said Christian Cerda, COO of iRobot. “We’ve built customer-centric features directly into the app — from scheduling cleaning jobs, to notifications and direct access to customer support — allowing for more customized, powerful cleaning assistance, every day.”
The latest Roombas from iRobot, the 900 Series, promise to combine “adaptive navigation with visual localization,” helping these bots create a map of a home as they do their chores. Clean Map reports then allow you to see these maps. The new app feature also lets you know which areas of your home feature the highest concentrations of dirt or debris, so you might adjust your cleaning (or usage) habits.
Update: Roomba adds IFTTT compatibility.