Control your Roomba with just your voice thanks to a new Alexa integration

For further cleaning convenience, Roomba now has IFTTT functionality

roomba alexa integration screen shot 2017 03 14 at 12 06 37 pm
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. 

Home Theater

Spotify’s favorite speaker feature lets your tunes follow you with just a tap

Spotify appears to be testing a new feature that lets users seamlessly switch their listening session to a preferred Spotify Connect device when the Spotify app detects that it's nearby.
Smart Home

Automate your home and save money with these smart plugs

Smart plugs can make your dumb outlets smart. To help you choose the right one, we've rounded up the best smart plugs for your consideration. This selection covers smart plugs rated for indoor use.
Home Theater

Looking for the best 4K Ultra HD TVs you can buy? Here are five great options

If it's time to upgrade your old 1080p to a new 4K model but you don't know what to look for, fear not, as we're here with a list of the best 4K Ultra HD TVs to help make your buying process as easy as possible.
Computing

Tired of your Mac freezing? Try these tips to fix your Mac

A Mac that keeps freezing can be an incredibly annoying thing to deal with, but fixing it doesn’t have to be a pain. There are six main things you should try, which we got through in this guide to help you fix the issue once and for all.
Smart Home

New Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo models vacuum and mop with multi-floor mapping

Ecovacs Robotics launched two new robotic home floor care models. The Deebot Ozmo 920 and Deebot Ozmo 950 add new laser-based navigation and multi-floor mapping capabilities combine robotic vacuuming and mopping for total floor cleaning.
Deals

Locate a runaway pet with the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker, now $64 on Amazon

A good way to monitor your pet’s movements is through a GPS tracker. A great option is the Whistle 3, which is available on Amazon for only $64 as an early Prime Day deal. It’s normally sold for $80, so you get $16 savings.
Smart Home

Google Assistant’s reminders will soon nag your significant other for you

Let Google take the heat for all that nagging: Google Assistant will soon allow you to assign reminders to others. The feature will roll out to Google Assistant-enabled phones, speakers, and displays over the next few weeks.
Buying Guides

Back to school smart home gadgets under $50 for your dorm

Today’s students are accustomed to a high-tech lifestyle, which they'll want to maintain when they start college. But they're also strapped for cash, so these back to school smart home gadgets under $50 for the dorm are perfect!
Smart Home

Startup Camect is on track to deliver a private, unified smart camera hub

It's not every day you run across a crowdfunded startup that has raised nearly three times its goal but startup Camect has done just that to fund the development of a secure smart camera hub expected to launch in 2020.
Smart Home

Smart thermostats explained: How they work and how they save you money

Thinking of buying a smart thermostat, but don't know exactly what you're looking for? We explain how smart thermostats work, the features they offer, and how they can save you money.
Smart Home

The best pet tech products on the market for dog and cat owners

Pet-centric tech has come a long way in the past decade. From self-cleaning litter boxes to DNA tests designed to trace your pup's ancestry through the ages, here is some of the best pet tech available.
Smart Home

Amazon and Walmart match lower prices on Echo Dot and Google Home Mini

Amazon and Walmart resumed their price competition on the entry-level smart speakers for the Amazon Echo and Google Nest Home smart home ecosystems. The price cuts have started with 40% discounts on the Echo Dot and the Google Home Mini.
Smart Home

Alexa’s Custom Interfaces hope to augment gadgets, games, and smart toys

Alexa is growing smarter again with a new feature for developers called Custom Interfaces. The feature is aimed at augmenting interactivity between users of Alexa-powered devices like Amazon's Echo and developer's newest products.
Smart Home

Your smart oven might be more ready for breakfast than you realize

Several owners of the June Smart Oven have reported the device turning on and preheating in the middle of the night without any input. June says this is due to user error, but customers are concerned.