Company “iRobot”‘s Robots

iRobot's Site

iRobot’s Site

Remember the 1. Roomba? The Roomba was iRobot’s best-known invention: a circular vacuum that navigates a room on it’s own. It gained a big following of YouTube fans when people captured videos of their cats interacting with them! Below is an image of the Roomba:

One of many Roomba Models

One of many Roomba Models

Here’s a YouTube video of the latest Roomba in action at CES 2014:

So these might not be Google’s robots – big, bad, and awesome, but they’re part of the robot revolution nonetheless. The robots get cooler as the post progresses, however. I remember a colleague at a Microsoft DigiGirlz event where Lindsay Lindstrom taught how Roombas worked (they’re drawn just like the characters of Blizzard or any other video game, and just as complex in their nature); it was amazing.

Roomba has grown up. Below you’ll find the 5 major Roomba vacuum models to date & their major differences:

Roomba Comparison Chart 1

Roomba Model Comparison Chart 2

Roomba Models Comparison Chart

Roomba Models Comparison Chart

iRobot makes robots for the following “verticals”, if you will:

  • For the Home
  • For Defense & Security
  • For Commercial Applications

Since we started with iRobot’s Roomba, in the “For the Home” category, I’ll first continue on from there. This might seem boring compared with Google’s awesome robots, but these are amazing themselves just for different use cases.

Floor Scrubbing Robot iRobot Scooba

Floor Scrubbing Robot iRobot Scooba

iRobot’s 2. Scooba Floor Scrubbing Robot:

  • Washes away 99.3% of common household bacteria
  • Has separate compartments for clean water/water+soap & a separate for the dirty water so the dirty water doesn’t get recycled onto your floor
  • It has a DryDock Charging and Drying Stand
  • It’s whisper quietus robot can do better?”
  • Gizmodo claimed in 2014 “Why mop when a genius robot can do it better?”1

iRobot's Braava Floor Mopping Robot

iRobot’s Braava Floor Mopping Robot

iRobot Braava is “floor mopping” vs. Scooba’s “floor scrubbing”: it uses dry or dap cloths to mop hard-surface floors for daily dust, dirt, and smudges and keep them under control. Take a look at this great overview video:

Scooba’s Powerful 3-Cycle Cleaning Process

 iRobot’s 3. Braava: The floor sweeping robot for everyday use:

iRobot's Braava: The Floor Sweeping Robot

iRobot’s Braava: The Floor Sweeping Robot

Braava has 2 modes: dry mopping using dry cleaning cloths to pick up dust, dirt, and hair, and damp mop mode that damp cleans with cloths to lift surface dirt and grime off floors.

Below you’ll find one of these in action:

4. iRobot Mirra is a pool cleaning robot that’s much more sophisticated than those other dinosaur-age pool cleaners:

Let’s now look at the second category of iRobots: For Defense & Security. For each of the 4 robots I’ll mention here, they each have different areas of operations (albeit the same areas for all 4 Defense & Security Robots: “Public Safety”, “Military”, and “Hazmat”).

1. iRobot’s 110 FirstLook® is a compact, rugged and expandable lightweight robot.It provides immediate situational awareness, performs persistent observation & investigates hazardous material while keeping its operator out of harm’s way:

iRobot's 110 FirstLook

iRobot’s 110 FirstLook

110 FirstLook Robot

110 FirstLook Robot

FirstLook® can do the following:

  • Route/Building Clearance (using predictive intelligence to identify risks and threats quickly). Unmanned ground vehicle technology from iRobot is equipped with a mature set of cameras, 2-way audio capabilities and can be configured with numerous external sensors and tools to provide the predictive analysis in the sweep of a route or building, saving time on-task for responders
  • CBRN/Hazmat: These robots have been integrated into emergency service teams into not only standard operations but also numerous industrial settings to enable rapid response and real-time detection of Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear (CBRN) and HazMat materials
  • Military police or public safety officers exposed to undue risks when entering, exiting, or parking areas of interest that pose a threat to personal property
  • If direct access to an area is obstructed (confined spaces), such as tunnels, damaged buildings and more, this robot can investigate the safety of the situation
  • Persistent Observation to identify characteristics and elements that may pose threats or cause harm to people
  • Bomb Disposal/Explosive Ordanance Disposal (EOD): iRobot’s unmanned ground vehicle systems are integrated into military & public safety teams to increase safe-distance for the operator & controlled neutralization of the device
  • Visual Obscurants: Low light, smoke, dust, explosion debris, and more can hinder first responder’s abilities to perform visual inspections & determine the safety or locate suspicious packages

Watch a video of this robot in action:

2. iRobot’s 310 SUGV is a backpack-mountable robot with dexterous manipulation for dismounted and mobile operations. It climbs stairs, manipulates objects, and speeds down-range at more than 6mph. Take a look:

iRobot's 310 SUGV Robot

iRobot 310 SUGV enables bomb-squad investigators and Explosive Ordinance Disposal squads to quickly determine the best course of action

iRobot 310 SUGV enables bomb-squad investigators and Explosive Ordinance Disposal squads to quickly determine the best course of action

  • Provides rapid non-destructive inspection & detection of explosive/bomb materials inside luggage, suspicious packages, IEDs, etc. These modular unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) have numerous high-resolution color camera systems with low-light or thermal vision & support an expanding array of explosive detection sensors
  • Visual Obscurants (same as above)
  • Check Point/Vehicle Inspections: (same as above)
  • Confined Spaces: (same as above)
  • Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)/Bomb Disposal: (same as above)
  • Persistent Observation: (same as above)
  • Route/Building Clearance: (same as above)
310 SUGV

310 SUGV

And finally a video:

3. iRobot’s 510 PackBot is modular, adaptable, expandable, and can perform bomb disposal, surveillance and reconnaissance, CBRN detection and HazMat handling. The robot is configured based on mission needs. It climbs stairs, relay real-time video, audio, & sensor data while the operator is at a safe distance.

iRobot's PackBot 510: Multi-Mission Robot

iRobot’s PackBot 510: Multi-Mission Robot

The 510 Packbot can perform Bomb Disposal/EOD actions and have been deployed for the safe detonation of devices by the military and Public Safety Bomb Disposal and Bomb Squad Teams. Each robot supports a variety of disruptors with secure firing circuits, or deliver charges to neutralize the risk. (Photo credit John Wilcox, Boston Herald below:)

Packbot 510 Robot

Packbot 510 Robot

This robot has the same specs as the robots featured before it.

4. The iRobot 710 Kobra can reach as high as 11 feet, climb stairs, fit through doorways or down aisle-ways & deploy from the back of a standard SUV. It reaches speeds of 8mph while carrying a 150-lb payload. It’s great for stable mobility on rough terrain in all types of weather.

It’s main functionalities are the following:

  • Bomb Disposal/Explosive Ordnance Disposal
  • Check Point/Vehicle Inspections
  • Persistent Observation
  • Visual Obscurants
710 Kobra Robot

710 Kobra Robot

For Commercial Applications, iRobot leverages state-of-the-art mobile robotics platforms, bringing solutions to new markets like medicine, retail, security, industrial businesses and more.

5. The iRobot Ava 500 is a Video Collaboration Robot, giving remote presence for the Enterprise. With so many remote workers today, Ava immediately establishes a physical presence from a remote location with complete freedom of movement:

Ava 500 Video Collaboration Robot

Ava 500 Video Collaboration Robot

6. The RP-VITA® Remote Presence Robot is a telemedicine solution. It’s the first remote presence solution that combines autonomous navigation and mobility from iRobot with telemedicine technology from InTouch Health. It was designed to transform the delivery of acute care by expanding the use of remote consults and increasing workflow efficiency.

RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot

RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot

7. iRobot Ava® Mobile Robotics Platform is a breakthrough solution suitable for 3rd party development and a wide range of applications. It’s capable of autonomous navigation in a complex world.

Image taken from iRobot, this image is of concepts of use of Ava, not actual products

Image taken from iRobot, this image is of concepts of use of Ava, not actual products

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