The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby RTC » September 12th, 2018, 2:46 am

ps0001 wrote:
RTC wrote:When I asked about firmware updates on the 980, they said "firmware updates will only be used for bug fixes, never for adding features not already present"

Like jdong said, that doesn't really mesh with what has actually happened: they've released more than one firmware update that added features. Maybe they meant there will be no more updates with added features going forward? I can see why they'd want to do that, but this is the same company that offered an upgrade path to add the AeroVac system to old 500 and 600 series Roombas. It's just very hard to anticipate what they may or may not do, and their customer service reps are either kept in the dark or exceptionally disciplined.


Well, considering my experience with asking about the Roomba on a UPS, it would not be surprising if the support people are entirely misinformed on many other things too.

Perhaps one could hope, but it won't help me as I can't use the app.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby marquesalan » September 12th, 2018, 7:02 am

I love how there is 63 - 5 star reviews for all the people that got an advance trial of the product but they do not really tell you much about the robot. It's like they have never had a robotic vacuum in their lives and they are all current Roomba owners. No mention of battery life either. I'm sure it works great but really not one single bad thing to say about the unit? Maybe they got to keep them if they kept their mouth shut. LOL
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 12th, 2018, 11:53 am

marquesalan wrote:I love how there is 63 - 5 star reviews for all the people that got an advance trial of the product but they do not really tell you much about the robot. It's like they have never had a robotic vacuum in their lives and they are all current Roomba owners. No mention of battery life either. I'm sure it works great but really not one single bad thing to say about the unit? Maybe they got to keep them if they kept their mouth shut. LOL

Yeah, exactly! That's why I was thinking it might be fake data...
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby flat5 » September 12th, 2018, 1:28 pm

For me the 985 is still the sweet spot for value.

Yeah, self emptying is cool, but I'm not sure it's hundreds of dollars cool. I need to get in there and untangle HAIR, wipe the optical PORTS, and blow the dust out of the filter every few days anyway. Dumping out the bin isn't where most of the maintenance work is, IMO.

The room by room stuff is interesting, but just not really necessary for me.

I will upgrade a few years down the road when the price comes down.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 12th, 2018, 3:23 pm

flat5 wrote:For me the 985 is still the sweet spot for value.

Good! That's what it's all about: the best and most cost effective model that fits your needs.

flat5 wrote:Yeah, self emptying is cool, but I'm not sure it's hundreds of dollars cool. I need to get in there and untangle HAIR, wipe the optical PORTS, and blow the dust out of the filter every few days anyway. Dumping out the bin isn't where most of the maintenance work is, IMO.

I agree. I have pets with long fur, so I have to clean off the rollers every other day anyway.

flat5 wrote:The room by room stuff is interesting, but just not really necessary for me.

I explained my rationale earlier, but this feature is very important in my situation. Again, it's all about what fits your needs.

flat5 wrote:I will upgrade a few years down the road when the price comes down.

Because the room-to-room cleaning is so important to me, I'm trying to figure out a way to upgrade sooner than that. I wonder if it'll be discounted at all on Black Friday.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby Ducky » September 13th, 2018, 8:14 am

ps0001 wrote:https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/05/irobots-new-roomba-knows-where-its-going/

The latest version of the robotic vacuum represents a number of advances over its predecessor, chief among them the ability to know where it’s going and remember where it’s been. It’s a skill Angle has teased for a few years now, including several appearances on TechCrunch — and high atop the list of the line’s most requested features.

...

With the i7+, however, Roomba will be able to recognize different rooms.


I really hope they push a firmware release to enable this feature on the 980's. The article makes it sound like the i7+ can only do this because it's newer processor is so powerful, but if it weren't for dealing with the TCP/IP layer, I could've almost added this feature to a 980 myself using an 8-bit micrcontroller. I really can't imagine that the 980 isn't physically capable of it.


I suspect the processor change is because the original one was "end of life"d by the supplier, and the real reason for the mapping difference is due to the amount of RAM and/or flash memory on board. Won't make sense why the 980 doesn't get this feature otherwise, unless it's really due to wanting feature differentiation.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 13th, 2018, 1:51 pm

Ducky wrote:I suspect the processor change is because the original one was "end of life"d by the supplier, and the real reason for the mapping difference is due to the amount of RAM and/or flash memory on board. Won't make sense why the 980 doesn't get this feature otherwise, unless it's really due to wanting feature differentiation.


From a technical standpoint, this is what's necessary for the i7's type of room-by-room cleaning.

1. Build a map/floorplan of your house.
2. Store the map.
3. Build and follow routes within the map (i.e. figure out a way to get from point A to point B).
4. Track where the Roomba is on the map.
5. Respect room boundaries if not cleaning the entire house.
6. Identify rooms on the map.
7. Allow users to split, merge, and otherwise manipulation the rooms.
8. Name the rooms.

The 980 already does items 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. As we can already see with Clean Map, 900 series Roombas can certainly build and store maps. They can also build and follow routes, which is what they do when they return to their bases. They can track where they are on the map because that's necessary to build and follow routes. And they can respect boundaries because that's what they do when they encounter a wall or Virtual Wall.

As far as we know, 900 series Roombas cannot split floorplans into individual rooms, but we also don't know that the i7 does this on-board. It's just as likely that this happens in the app or on an iRobot server. Room manipulation and naming occurs in the app.

I just can't believe there's a technical reason the 980 won't get this feature. Hopefully someone like Vic will bless us with a partial teardown of the i7 so we can compare hardware. The processor in the 960 and 980, the STM32F1, is very much an active part.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby marquesalan » September 13th, 2018, 2:08 pm

I would think the camera would need to be the same. Also is the iAdapt system part of the firmware or it all based on software? If a simple software update gave you all the new features offered on the i7 then they would not sell any new vacuums. I am thinking some it must be hardware extras. Just guessing here.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 13th, 2018, 2:20 pm

marquesalan wrote:I would think the camera would need to be the same. Also is the iAdapt system part of the firmware or it all based on software? If a simple software update gave you all the new features offered on the i7 then they would not sell any new vacuums. I am thinking some it must be hardware extras. Just guessing here.

I've said it over and over: I don't think there's a legitimate technical reason the 980 can't handle Imprint mapping. Perhaps the hardware in the i7 is different, but I'm confident iRobot won't port the feature backwards (at first, at least) for business reasons. And hey, they're a for-profit company--I can't fault them for that--but as an engineer, I obsess over what the hardware can actually handle.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby fufu » September 13th, 2018, 4:13 pm

The important thing is that you guys buy and test it :D

I'm living in Germany and have to wait until next year. :(
I'm waiting for a self-emptying robot since 2011. The solution is within reach and still so far away.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby justflie » September 13th, 2018, 6:22 pm

Annoyed that I preordered and it still hasn’t shipped yet.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby vic7767 » September 13th, 2018, 6:32 pm

justflie wrote:Annoyed that I preordered and it still hasn’t shipped yet.
:roll:
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby jdong » September 13th, 2018, 8:45 pm

Best Buy has it listed as arriving on 9/26.... wonder if that date is accurate.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby mofan » September 14th, 2018, 9:45 am

I've said it over and over: I don't think there's a legitimate technical reason the 980 can't handle Imprint mapping. Perhaps the hardware in the i7 is different, but I'm confident iRobot won't port the feature backwards (at first, at least) for business reasons. And hey, they're a for-profit company--I can't fault them for that--but as an engineer, I obsess over what the hardware can actually handle.


I'm not so sure about this. I went back and listened to Colin Angle's talk at Tech Crunch's TC Disrupt, and he said that there is an AI algorithm that the i7 is using to figure out the concept of what a "room" is. So basically the i7, after making a few passes of the home, tries to figure out for itself how the house should be segmented into rooms, and gives the end user its best guess in the Irobot app. Angle said that the robot gets it right about 80-90% of the time, and the user can make modifications as needed, and then label the rooms as the user sees fit. I doubt that a chip in the class of that used on the 980 could handle that level of computation.

Interestingly, the interviewer asked Angle if the i7 can actually use its understanding of landmarks in the home to figure out the concept of room types, such as kitchen, bathroom, or living room. Angle said that this capability is not possible at launch, but he hinted at future functionality along those lines due to the upgradability of the robot. That would require some pretty serious AI chops and would be facilitated by the much more powerful processor on the i7.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby vic7767 » September 14th, 2018, 10:06 am

Pre-orders of the i7 have started shipping.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 14th, 2018, 10:16 am

mofan wrote:I'm not so sure about this. I went back and listened to Colin Angle's talk at Tech Crunch's TC Disrupt, and he said that there is an AI algorithm that the i7 is using to figure out the concept of what a "room" is. So basically the i7, after making a few passes of the home, tries to figure out for itself how the house should be segmented into rooms, and gives the end user its best guess in the Irobot app. Angle said that the robot gets it right about 80-90% of the time, and the user can make modifications as needed, and then label the rooms as the user sees fit. I doubt that a chip in the class of that used on the 980 could handle that level of computation.

Maybe. It'll be interesting to see what processor is in the i7. This article from IEEE suggests the room segmentation occurs on-board the robot:

https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/rob ... -your-home

But even if that's the case, it adds such minor functionality (in my opinion). I would be perfectly happy splitting the floorplan into separate rooms myself. Also, there's no technical reason this can't happen on the cloud; it doesn't need to happen in real time. I understand that there are security concerns, but I think that's overblown.

The 980 and app can already do everything else.

In sum, I don't doubt the i7 received major upgrades, but I still think the 980 can handle room-by-room cleaning.
Last edited by ps0001 on September 14th, 2018, 10:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 14th, 2018, 10:16 am

vic7767 wrote:Pre-orders of the i7 have started shipping.

Some people who paid for expedited shipping received theirs already!
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby justflie » September 14th, 2018, 9:59 pm

vic7767 wrote:Pre-orders of the i7 have started shipping.

Yep. Mine should arrive Tuesday. Hopefully the real early birds with expedited shippping will post a few videos. Pretty please?
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby rotorwash » September 16th, 2018, 3:25 pm

Just found this site after buying a 980 and still under the 30 day satisfaction guarantee.
I have two Goldens and use our Vac daily and I need to empty the bin three times with each clean.(lots of dog hair)
The bin on the i7 is like 40% smaller doesn't look good even if it empties itself. The Bot will be spending a lot of its time and energy going to dump. One thing I read over and over from reviews was make the bin larger, and they didn't.

I'm curious to see real world reviews compared to the 980. The only thing I see as better is the Navigation and room learning. The battery is smaller the bin is smaller and it doesn't have the Power Boost mode. I do wonder if the 3300 mAh from the 980 will fit in the i7.

Also will the new extractors fit on the 980 for a possible upgrade.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 16th, 2018, 4:32 pm

rotorwash wrote:The bin on the i7 is like 40% smaller doesn't look good even if it empties itself. The Bot will be spending a lot of its time and energy going to dump. One thing I read over and over from reviews was make the bin larger, and they didn't.

Are you sure about that? The i7's bin does appear smaller, but it doesn't incorporate the vacuum motor anymore, so the capacity is very likely the same as the 980's.

rotorwash wrote:I'm curious to see real world reviews compared to the 980. The only thing I see as better is the Navigation and room learning. The battery is smaller the bin is smaller and it doesn't have the Power Boost mode. I do wonder if the 3300 mAh from the 980 will fit in the i7.

I'm curious where you heard the battery is smaller. I can't find anything about battery life published on iRobot's website or any of the reputable gadget review sites. Somebody on Reddit got about an hour and a half of run time before stopping their i7 manually. He said it still had roughly 25% left in the battery too, so I'm not so sure the i7's battery is significantly smaller than previous models'.

rotorwash wrote:Also will the new extractors fit on the 980 for a possible upgrade.

I wish I knew the answer to this, but I think we'll have to wait until someone who already owns a 980 who feels like experimenting gets an i7 too. The two styles appear compatible to me, but that doesn't mean much.
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