The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

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

Postby TerrenceBlack » September 27th, 2018, 3:55 pm

vic7767 wrote:The pack in the i7 is marked 1800 mAH and 14.4vdc

Thank you. I wonder, why have they made the battery smaller than in the model 980...
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby jdong » September 27th, 2018, 3:57 pm

I presume it was to fit in the new vacuum motor.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby vic7767 » September 27th, 2018, 4:56 pm

I have inserted a pre i7 pack used in the 980 into the battery cavity of the i7. Behind the larger 980 pack is the new i7 pack. It appears that the re=design of the main board does not allow for the older style pack connections for power and thermistor but the battery well dimensions could contain the 980 style pack.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 27th, 2018, 5:13 pm

That's a great idea, but I can't help but think the absolute maximum run time is limited by the firmware. I had a customer service rep from iRobot tell me that's the case--which makes sense to me--but those folks don't exactly know all the technical details of their products.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby vic7767 » September 27th, 2018, 6:49 pm

ps0001 wrote:That's a great idea,
My previous post was to point out the battery cavity size, not to attempt a pack hack.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby TerrenceBlack » September 28th, 2018, 6:05 am

ps0001 wrote: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.

What you wrote makes sense to me, maybe it's technically possible to add this features to 960 and 980. But the firmware is certainly hardware-dependent, they made a new hardware, then wrote a new code. Now, even if it's possible to port it to the 960/980 hardware, they should do some additional work and as a result, a lot of 960/980 owners will get "almost i7" and the chance they will upgrade to i7 is minimal. So, to do some work to lower profit is not what a business wants.
Regarding processing data on an iRobot server, it looks like due to security concerns, they don't do that and all the computing is done on-board.
Another thought:
The 980 during “edge clean” seems to try to nudge basically every 2 feet of wall hoping to find a doorway, and when it doesn’t it pauses for a few seconds to update its internal map.
Probably, 960/980 already work on the edge of their CPU power, so porting the new code would slow down them even more... They certainly wrote it for the more powerful CPU.

Can i7 owners say how good it is on black surfaces? Is it better than 960/980? How does it work in the dark rooms? And what about boost on carpets? Does it change the fan power depending on the flooring, like 980 or goes on constant power all the time? And how is suction compared to 980?
Also, any ideas why it's not available on Amazon?
Last edited by TerrenceBlack on September 28th, 2018, 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby rotorwash » September 28th, 2018, 11:13 am

Anyone do a comparison between the 980 and the i7 yet
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 28th, 2018, 9:09 pm

TerrenceBlack wrote:What you wrote makes sense to me, maybe it's technically possible to add this features to 960 and 980. But the firmware is certainly hardware-dependent, they made a new hardware, then wrote a new code. Now, even if it's possible to port it to the 960/980 hardware, they should do some additional work and as a result, a lot of 960/980 owners will get "almost i7" and the chance they will upgrade to i7 is minimal. So, to do some work to lower profit is not what a business wants.
Regarding processing data on an iRobot server, it looks like due to security concerns, they don't do that and all the computing is done on-board.

Yes, I agree. I've been careful to say there's no technical reason the 980 can't support this feature. Of course, there's a pretty obvious business reason why it doesn't. Then again, iRobot has surprised us in the past and eventually released upgrades for older models, so we'll have to wait and see.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 30th, 2018, 10:06 pm

So I broke down and got an i7 yesterday. After toying with the settings, I want to revisit my point about the 980 being able to handle Imprint mapping. We were speculating that the i7 must be relying on its superior processor and memory to store maps and run the Imprint (room identifying) algorithm locally--but the privacy policy in the app specifically states that maps are stored on the cloud. So again, in my opinion, there's no technical reason the 980 couldn't also support this feature.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby gregj » October 1st, 2018, 8:11 am

So I wonder if they are going to be now selling the house layout information out to companies offering them monies for it? That was their plan to make more monies in the past, as per iRobot CEO statements.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby jdong » October 1st, 2018, 10:42 am

gregj wrote:So I wonder if they are going to be now selling the house layout information out to companies offering them monies for it? That was their plan to make more monies in the past, as per iRobot CEO statements.

Right now that’s still not within their privacy policy. They are saying they may internally use your maps to improve their services but it’s not being sold yet.

Of course that can change with an app update.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » October 1st, 2018, 10:13 pm

For the curious: the i7's rollers do fit in the 980 (and probably the 960, and 800 series too). You have to pop off the i7's gray bearing housings and use the 800/900's yellow bearing housings instead, but otherwise they drop right in. I didn't run the 980 with the i7 rollers, and I don't know if they have some aerodynamic quality that would make them less efficient in a 980 CHM, but they physically fit.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby wat » October 2nd, 2018, 7:25 am

those with a working i7 - do any of you use the android app to manage it?

irobot is sending me a replacement roomba due to a software bug in some of the units. just trying to determine if something triggers the bug, or if its simply a defect with a percentage of them.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » October 2nd, 2018, 10:45 am

wat wrote:those with a working i7 - do any of you use the android app to manage it?

irobot is sending me a replacement roomba due to a software bug in some of the units. just trying to determine if something triggers the bug, or if its simply a defect with a percentage of them.

I use the Android app, but I had problems getting Smart Maps to work on it. At first, I couldn't load any maps at all--either in the cleaning history or Smart Maps--but then I cleared the app's data (then signed in again, reconnected to the Roomba, etc.) and I was able to see them. The app was too buggy to let me edit the Smart Maps map, though.

I used an iOS device to edit the map, but I use the Android app run the robot and handle scheduling, etc.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby TerrenceBlack » October 2nd, 2018, 1:35 pm

ps0001 wrote:So I broke down and got an i7 yesterday.

So how does it work on black surfaces?
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » October 2nd, 2018, 1:50 pm

TerrenceBlack wrote:So how does it work on black surfaces?

Just as advertised. No issues over the same areas the 980 struggled with.

It's pretty good overall, but still a bit clunky. I'm hoping the whole experience is smoother with future firmware and software updates. For instance, the Android app has some serious bugs, and I'm kind of disappointed with how tedious it is to build a map. I made the mistake of letting my Roomba build a map with one of the bedroom doors closed. This morning I sent it on a cleaning/training run to add that room, but apparently you have to delete the previous map and build a new one (if anyone else has experience with this, please tell me if I'm wrong).
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby TerrenceBlack » October 3rd, 2018, 5:10 am

ps0001 wrote:
TerrenceBlack wrote:So how does it work on black surfaces?

Just as advertised. No issues over the same areas the 980 struggled with.

It's pretty good overall, but still a bit clunky. I'm hoping the whole experience is smoother with future firmware and software updates. For instance, the Android app has some serious bugs, and I'm kind of disappointed with how tedious it is to build a map. I made the mistake of letting my Roomba build a map with one of the bedroom doors closed. This morning I sent it on a cleaning/training run to add that room, but apparently you have to delete the previous map and build a new one (if anyone else has experience with this, please tell me if I'm wrong).

Yep, it's hard to be a robot in the humans' world :) Never know if it's a door or a wall :)
How does it work in the dark rooms? And what about boost on carpets? Does it change the fan power depending on the flooring, like 980 or goes on constant power all the time?
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » October 3rd, 2018, 10:08 am

TerrenceBlack wrote:Yep, it's hard to be a robot in the humans' world :) Never know if it's a door or a wall :)
How does it work in the dark rooms? And what about boost on carpets? Does it change the fan power depending on the flooring, like 980 or goes on constant power all the time?

  • I haven't tested it, but supposedly it works the same as the 980 in dark rooms. It'll clean it, but it won't do it with as much accuracy.
  • No carpet boost, that's gone. It uses one level of suction the whole time, but its performance on carpet seems quite good.
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