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Roomba update helps robovacs clean up at Christmas

iRobot has just dropped a Christmas-friendly update for its new Roomba j7 and j7+ robot vacuums.

It should mean less stress for folks with a real festive tree in their home as the machines will now zone in on all of those problematic pine needles that end up on the floor and stuck in your socks.

To make it happen, you just need to recommend a new cleaning area around the Christmas tree via the iRobot Home App. Using its onboard smarts, your trusty robovac will then automatically determine a “clean zone” around the outer perimeter of the tree and a “keep out zone” that should stop it ramming the decorative installation and potentially felling it.

The update also means the Roomba j7 and j7+ robot vacuums will now avoid discarded socks and shoes, preventing the machine from shoving them across the room only for the owner to later wonder if some ghostly presence has been fiddling with their footwear.

iRobot said the ability to steer clear of socks and shoes adds to the current list of other items that the Roomba j7 and j7+ can detect and avoid, including cords and solid pet waste, adding that its newest robot vacuums will continue to get smarter over time and identify even more objects via future updates.

Finally, this week’s update means that if you buy a new Roomba to replace an existing one, iRobot machines with Smart Mapping can now transfer an existing Smart Map to the new device, eliminating the robot’s need to create a new floor map from scratch.

Keith Hartsfield, chief product officer at iRobot, said in a release that with each Roomba update, “your robot gets smarter and does even more at no cost.”

Yet to get yourself a robot vacuum but interested in taking the plunge? Digital Trends has compiled a comprehensive list of the top robot vacuums currently available.

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Trevor Mogg
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