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The vacuum-cleaner robot revolution has begun

Are you tired of your old Hoover sitting around, collecting dust – and not in the way it’s supposed to? Maybe it’s time you switched over to a robotic vacuum cleaner.

This suggestion unsurprisingly comes from Colin Angle, the CEO and co-founder of iRobot, whose research estimates that as much as 20 per cent of all household vacuum cleaners are now fully or partially autonomous.

Additionally, of that sizeable market share, Angle’s studies revealed that approximately 70 per cent of these robot vacuum cleaners come from his own company, with 14 million Roomba units currently cleaning house across the globe.

This information was announced at TechCrunch Beijing last November — so if you got yourself a robot vacuum cleaner last Christmas, you’ve probably helped further bump those numbers.

Of course, iRobot aren’t the only ‘i’ company wanting to get their technological foot in your door, so to speak, with Apple also aiming their gear towards building the home of the future.

One of the biggest new features of their latest iOS instalment, iOS 10, implemented and integrated the Apple Home app.

Home uses your iPhone or iPad to connect you to the internet of things, enabling you to do things like open doors, turn on lights and even adjust the thermostat — all from your device.

And with the latest update to the Apple TV — traditionally a purely streaming device — you can now control your home even when you aren’t there, using the Apple TV device as a home hub.

But while you can say, “Hey Siri, turn on the kitchen lights?” and she can do it, does Siri really know what she’s just done? Does she actually understand the difference between your kitchen and your dining room?

Does she even know where your kitchen is?

This is where iRobot think they have an edge on the market. In the same interview, Angle talked about creating a spacial awareness through the use of their vacuum robots, essentially using their devices to ‘learn’ the layout of your home.

I’m not sure if that’s cool or creepy, but at least when we finally get robot butlers, they will already know where the fridge is.

About the author

Tyler is currently based in Canberra, though he rejects this reality and enjoys immersing himself in games, technology, and comics. You can usually catch him trying to find that last shard/flag/feather.
Twitter: @FinalAlchemist

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