Roomba update brings greater peace of mind with Keep Out Zones

iRobot’s Roomba vacuum cleaners have just received a handy update that should give owners greater peace of mind when they’re out and about. Why? Because they reduce the chance of returning home to a struggling machine, or worse, a complete mess.

Announced on Tuesday by iRobot CEO Colin Angle, the new “Keep Out Zones” feature lets you select specific areas for your Roomba robovac to avoid.

Angle suggests setting it up for things like your pet’s water bowl, though you might also want to use it for snaking power cords and charging leads, fluffy rugs, or that expensive ornament that’s balanced precariously on a three-legged table in the corner.

The Keep Out Zones feature is available for Roomba i and s series robots, as well as the Braava Jet m6 robot mop.

To make use of the feature, simply open the latest version of the iRobot app, bring up the map of the relevant room, and designate the space or spaces that you want your robot vacuum to steer clear of. And as you’d expect, the zones stay in place for future cleaning sessions so that you don’t have to go through the rigmarole of setting them up each time.

iRobot’s CEO also highlighted another feature that comes with the latest app update. It adds to the functionality of Roomba’s Recharge and Resume technology, which enables the machines to automatically recharge as and when required before carrying on with the cleaning work.

The update means that all Roomba i and s series robots, together with the Braava Jet m6 robots, will now include Smart Charge and Resume capabilities. Angle explains: “With spatial awareness and Smart Charge and Resume, those robots will return and only charge up just enough to go back out and complete the mission. As you can imagine, if you only need a 20% charge to complete a mission, then there’s no need to spend the time required to charge up to 100%, when you aren’t going to use it all at that moment.”

If you’re yet to swap your manually operated vacuum cleaner for a robot alternative but are interested in doing so, Digital Trends has compiled a list of some of the best autonomous cleaners on the market today.

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