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How to set up Roomba to map different floors

If you’ve purchased an iRobot Roomba robot vacuum, you already know it has the power to clean by sweeping and vacuuming your home all on its own. With some of the newer iRobot bots, they use sensors that can see their way around your home and map the space so you can fine-tune your cleaning preferences.

Can Roomba map different floors?

Roomba generating a map.
iRobot Roomba i7+ smart mapping

There are many reasons you might need different levels of mapping. Perhaps you’ve moved, or want to bring your Roomba along to clean a guest house or vacation home. Maybe you have a multi-story house and want to keep it swept and tidy. iRobot has made it pretty simple to create floor plans for all your spaces. You can label rooms and even set cleaning schedules for each area.

The iRobot Roomba bots, including the newer i6 to i8+, s9, and S9+, the brand new iRobot Roomba  j7+, and even the m6 mopping robot can create multiple maps for different floors and spaces.

How does iRobot map different floors?

The newer iRobot bots have plenty of smarts and a host of sensors that help the robot navigate your space. Basically, Roomba robots use a technology called vSLAM, or visual simultaneous localization and mapping. As the robot moves around a room, it looks for unique areas that it considers landmarks. The bot remembers the location of those landmarks, so it can orient itself every time it goes out. It uses vSLAM to create what iRobot calls Imprint Smart Maps and a Smart Map can store multiple maps in its memory.

How to set up Roomba to map different floors

You might be thinking there’s lots of technology and work on your part involved in adding new maps or instructing the robot to map a different floor. In truth, Roomba is smart enough to figure this out on its own. Here’s how to set your robot up so it can take care of your whole home.

To create a map for a new floor plan of your home, place the Roomba somewhere on that floor and send it on a job to clean everywhere. You can press the Clean button on the robot vacuum or start the job from the iRobot app.

Keep your charging or base station where it is, since the robot uses the base station as its main point of reference for the house. If you want to add another charging or base station (or one of iRobot’s Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal units) to another floor, it is possible to get an additional one from the company.

How long does it take Roomba to map a floor?

Often it takes several passes for the Roomba to map a new floor, so you can send it out multiple times in a day, or schedule it to clean regularly. There’s also the option of a mapping-only run where the robot will patrol the house on low power, which offers a faster way to vSLAM a space. Even so, it will take a couple of mapping runs before it gets the complete picture. If your bot happens to seem a bit off, here’s how to reset your Roomba.

Having different maps of each floor of your home can allow you to clean the bedrooms on one day, the common areas on another, while keeping areas like hallways spic and span daily. Whatever kind of cleanup you need is customizable inside the iRobot app, and it all starts with building those Smart Maps.

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Erin Lawrence
Erin has over 20 years of experience as a journalist in the media and news industries, with time both on camera and behind…
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