CleanApp@RoboVacs

CleanApp@RoboVacs

@CleanApp, we are big fans of RoboVac technology, which covers everything from our trusty Roombas to cutting edge industrial-scale autonomous cleaning systems.

CleanApp@RoboVacs

Roomba by iRobot, TurboBot by Samsung, Neato & Dyson – the RoboVac space is hot and continues to grow at a very rapid pace.  It’s not hard to see why.  RoboVacs offer very high utility, are extremely durable & effective, and are relatively cost-affordable.

Moreover, CleanBots continue to add capabilities, with robot cleaners now able to do floor scrubbing, mopping, vertical surface window/glass/wall cleaning, and so on.

As with tech more broadly, each product cycle, the functionality continues to go up, while the prices continue to go down.

Despite a number of top-of-the-line models offering app connectivity, as of the start of 2018, we still don’t have a CleanApp-enabled RoboVac on the market.  We’re doing everything possible to accelerate the adoption of CleanApp tech by RoboVac manufacturers.

There are a number of reasons why CleanApp-enabled RoboVacs are still not on the market.  One of them is the fact that in order to CleanApp, the bot would need to build a map of your house, and be able to learn where things are in your house – to learn that what you call “the kitchen” (or “cocina” when you’re in a spicy mood) actually refers to the place where the oven and fridge are.  And if you call your bathroom “the office,” the humble RoboVac is also supposed to know what you mean.  That’s not easy to do without some individual coaching by the folks who live in that house.

The tech is there to enable RoboVacs to learn where you want cleaning done.  Our job is to make it continuously better.

CleanApp@HomeMapping

In order to effectively “CleanApp the living room,” the RoboVac has to know what you mean by “living room.”  This raises the idea of HomeMapping, giving machines inside the house the ability to map your house environment in increasingly complex ways.

HomeMapping is not a new concept.  Speaker systems, current-generation RoboVacs, high-scale WiFi routers, and various SmartSpeaker products already do a fair bit of spatial mapping in order to improve their functionality.  But HomeMapping of the sort necessary to do broad-spectrum CleanApp raises profound questions about privacy & data security.

Earlier in 2017, Colin Angle, the president of iRobot (makers of Roomba) created a stir when he suggested that iRobot would be able to sell Roomba users’ home map data to third parties.

After a wave of backlash, iRobot clarified:

The key takeaway from this is that for RoboVacs to offer next-gen functionality, we will need to have very strong harmonized data privacy regimes. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter if your Roomba can empty itself in the toilet and flush the dirt itself; if your robot is spying on you, you’re unlikely to use that tech for long.

CleanApp@HomeDrones

With harmonized CleanApp standards that incorporate rigorous data protections, the future of HomeDrones, DroneVacs, DroneScrubbers & other CleanBots is very bright indeed.  Over the next couple of years, we’ll be seeing CleanBots that can perform micro-cleaning services we didn’t think were feasible or practicable just a few years ago.

A DroneVac that can autonomously hover to clean dust on ventilator blades, on top of picture frames, and in corners far off the ground.  Check.  A DroneScrubber that can spend the majority of its time focusing on the part of the floor where that nasty wine spill was.  Done.  A CleanBot that can go directly inside of bathtubs, refrigerators, closets and garages to clean the dirt you tagged for #CleanApp, while leaving everything else undisturbed. That tech is coming.

With each of these applications, our role is to develop & monitor operating standards that give users maximum utility & protection. These protections will guide wider adoption, which will drive innovation, continuing the virtuous CleanApp cycle.

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