Skip to main content

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
Image used with permission by copyright holder
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. 

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Ultimate Roomba guide: tips, buying advice, and troubleshooting
The Roomba s9+ app.

The iRobot Roomba is what most people think of when it comes to robot vacuums. It wasn't the first, but it was the first that had some commercial success. Since the first Roomba model came out in September of 2002, there have been quite a few newcomers to iRobot's line, as well as robot mops. 20 years later, there are a plethora of robovacs available that can map multiple rooms, mop and suck up debris, and even empty themselves. Still, Roomba is one of the most popular names in the robovac business -- just ask Amazon. Maybe the company's acquisition will help make Roomba even better. That's why we've put together this guide that can help you decide which model is best for you, how to troubleshoot any issues you're having with the Roomba, and how it compares to other robovacs.
Which Roomba should you get?

When it comes to getting a robot vac, you really need to think about how you'll use it and the type of terrain in your home it will cover. For example, is your home filled with plush pile carpet or do you have hardwood floors? Will it need to navigate around pets and lots of furniture? Let's not forget price: Roomba's range in price starts at $200 for the more basic Roomba 694 and goes to $800 for the S9+ self-emptying model. You can also always find a Roomba on sale.

Read more
How does a Roomba work on carpet?
iRobot Roomba 692 on a hardwood floor negotiating a mat.

Many of the pictures we see of Roombas and other robot vacuums in action have them scooting over hard flooring, clearing up pet kibble or dust bunnies. Images of the bots on carpets are rarer, although they exist, too. That leads to a lot of questions from first-time buyers. Can Roombas work on carpet? Do you need a different kind of robot vacuum just for carpet? Will carpet damage a Roomba if it’s not made for it?

Fortunately, most robot vacuums are made to work on carpet and hard flooring, although there are some exceptions. Let’s tackle these questions with an FAQ about how robot vacuums and carpets interact.

Read more
Alexa has seen me naked, and that’s okay
John Cleese, naked except for a photo held in front of his crotch, in A Fish Called Wanda.

Alexa has seen things.

Alexa has seen everything.

Read more