The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

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The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 6th, 2018, 7:45 am

https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/05/irobo ... 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.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby susantx3 » September 6th, 2018, 8:11 am

Just bought the Costco 985. Should I return it?
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby RTC » September 6th, 2018, 8:20 am

ps0001 wrote:https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/05/irobots-new-roomba-knows-where-its-going/
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 chatted with them recently about updates for the 980 and was told that there have not been any and that they will usually only be used to fix bugs, not add features that aren't already present.
Not that it would make any difference to me as I can't use the app to do updates (my tremor drives touch devices nuts, so I can't use a smartphone).
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 6th, 2018, 8:20 am

susantx3 wrote:Just bought the Costco 985. Should I return it?

Yes.


Er, I would, at least. Haha. It really depends on you. The i7 costs $200 more than the 985, and the bin-emptying base costs $300 more than that; so a fully loaded i7 will cost twice as much as your 985. The new bin isn't so meaningful to me, but the i7's ability to remember maps and navigate room-by-room is super important. What features are important to you?
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 6th, 2018, 8:23 am

RTC wrote:I chatted with them recently about updates for the 980 and was told that there have not been any and that they will usually only be used to fix bugs, not add features that aren't already present.
Not that it would make any difference to me as I can't use the app to do updates (my tremor drives touch devices nuts, so I can't use a smartphone).

I'm going to give them a call later today to see if anything changed since the i7 was announced. I'll be supremely disappointed in iRobot if they don't throw 980 owners a bone and enable room-by-room navigation. I'd think the i7 upgrades would be perfect for you since it seems they added a ton more voice control commands.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby robotreviews » September 6th, 2018, 8:36 am

susantx3 wrote:Just bought the Costco 985. Should I return it?


Personally, I wouldn't. Remember, you aren't limited to 90 days to return a Roomba to Costco, so you have time to try it out and see if the additional features of the new models are worth the extra cost to you.

Unless you are dealing with a very large space where you're Roomba needs to clean multiple complicated areas, I'm guessing that most people won't notice much difference between the 985 and the i7, but there's no way to know for certain until some of us start getting them and seeing how they compare.

The biggest upgrade by far is the clean base, which is something we have all been waiting for them to add for a very, very long time. To me, that's the killer feature. An i7 with the base is a huge upgrade, and would definitely be worth the additional cost. But now your talking about almost twice the price, so that convenience definitely doesn't come cheap.

My advice: Live with the 985 for awhile. See how you feel about it and wait to see what the reviews of the i7 are. You can always upgrade if you want to, so you really wouldn't be missing out on anything if you chose to wait a bit first.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 6th, 2018, 8:38 am

Another i7 upgrade via IEEE:

"The i7+ also features a bunch of little improvements as well, or maybe not so little—one in particular that I personally appreciate is that the robot can now tell the difference between black carpet and the endless screaming void. In previous Roomba generations, the infrared cliff sensors could get confused on IR-absorbing black carpet, causing the robot to avoid those areas and freak out if forced onto one. That problem has now been solved, we’re told, and there was much rejoicing and removing of electrical tape and tinfoil."

https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/rob ... m-cleaning
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby robotreviews » September 6th, 2018, 8:42 am

ps0001 wrote:
susantx3 wrote:Just bought the Costco 985. Should I return it?

Yes.


Er, I would, at least. Haha. It really depends on you. The i7 costs $200 more than the 985, and the bin-emptying base costs $300 more than that; so a fully loaded i7 will cost twice as much as your 985. The new bin isn't so meaningful to me, but the i7's ability to remember maps and navigate room-by-room is super important. What features are important to you?


For me those upgrades are pretty meaningless - but that's because I live in a multi-level home where I require a different roomba for each floor. None of the floors are large enough for mapping to make any meaningful differences to me personally, so in my situation I rarely see a difference on any floor no matter what model family I use.

I'm guessing that you have a much larger and more complicated cleaning area, in which case I would agree that those upgrades would prove a lot more useful.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 6th, 2018, 8:51 am

robotreviews wrote:For me those upgrades are pretty meaningless - but that's because I live in a multi-level home where I require a different roomba for each floor. None of the floors are large enough for mapping to make any meaningful differences to me personally, so in my situation I rarely see a difference on any floor no matter what model family I use.

I'm guessing that you have a much larger and more complicated cleaning area, in which case I would agree that those upgrades would prove a lot more useful.

No, probably not larger, but I do live in a single-level house. Most importantly, someone is almost always home. There's no part of the day where everyone is at work or school when I can just set the Roomba loose to clean everything.

For that reason, I have it clean the house in sections: the living room and kitchen in the evening, the bedrooms during the day, and the dining room and office at night. To be able to schedule the Roomba to do all that autonomously is a game changer for me.

Not to mention, I'd love to be able to simply shout "Alexa, ask the Roomba to clean the kitchen!" if I drop a bag of rice when cooking, or something. To me, these features are vastly more useful than the self-emptying bin, but different strokes and all that, right?
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby robotreviews » September 6th, 2018, 9:02 am

Oh no, for your situation it's definitely worth it. But I live in New York, and we have no land, so we build up. I have 4 very small floors, and until iRobot conquers stairs I need a separate roomba for each floor. Voice control and scheduling are important, but smarts aren't. Each floor is small enough that it doesn't really matter how smart mine are, but if I had a space where one roomba could reach multiple rooms that were large enough to require cleaning separately then I'd be all over this one as well.

The bin just takes away the requirement to remember to empty the bins. While it's certainly not hard for most people to empty the bin, for those who may have difficulty bending down easily the base just makes the whole process much more robotic, and one step closer to fully automated vacuuming.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby RTC » September 6th, 2018, 9:05 am

ps0001 wrote:
RTC wrote:I chatted with them recently about updates for the 980 and was told that there have not been any and that they will usually only be used to fix bugs, not add features that aren't already present.
Not that it would make any difference to me as I can't use the app to do updates (my tremor drives touch devices nuts, so I can't use a smartphone).

I'm going to give them a call later today to see if anything changed since the i7 was announced. I'll be supremely disappointed in iRobot if they don't throw 980 owners a bone and enable room-by-room navigation. I'd think the i7 upgrades would be perfect for you since it seems they added a ton more voice control commands.


I won't be getting Alexa or anything similar, so voice commands won't likely help either.
I don't use the voice commands of either my TomTom 600 GPS or my flip phone. They are too difficult to remember and say correctly.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 6th, 2018, 9:09 am

robotreviews wrote:Oh no, for your situation it's definitely worth it. But I live in New York, and we have no land, so we build up. I have 4 very small floors, and until iRobot conquers stairs I need a separate roomba for each floor. Voice control and scheduling are important, but smarts aren't. Each floor is small enough that it doesn't really matter how smart mine are, but if I had a space where one roomba could reach multiple rooms that were large enough to require cleaning separately then I'd be all over this one as well.

The bin just takes away the requirement to remember to empty the bins. While it's definitely not hard to empty the bin on a regular roomba for me, for people who can't bend as easily the bin just makes the whole process much more robotic, and one step closer to fully automated vacuuming.

Yeah, I totally agree. In your situation, I might opt for four used 500 or 600 Roomba's and put one on each floor. Emptying four bins instead of one would get tiring, but I think it'll be a while before they bring the self-emptying bins to lower models.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 6th, 2018, 9:11 am

RTC wrote:I won't be getting Alexa or anything similar, so voice commands won't likely help either.
I don't use the voice commands of either my TomTom 600 GPS or my flip phone. They are too difficult to remember and say correctly.

For what it's worth, I find Alexa commands to be very natural. I talk to her like I'd talk to another person most of the time; there are few specific commands I commit to memory. Of course, that's just my experience, but I thought you might find it helpful.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby robotreviews » September 6th, 2018, 9:22 am

Agreed. You'd be surprised as to how much voice recognition has improved since those devices. Alexa or the Google Assistant are astonishingly accurate in understanding natural language, and they are pretty good at understanding context without requiring exact commands as past systems did. They don't require training or specific words to be used, and they are light years ahead of anything you might have used in the past.

I always advise people to grab an echo dot or a google home mini whenever they go on sale for $25 to $30 (which is fairly frequently) just to try one for themselves. They have a ridiculous amount of functionality considering how little they cost, and they make a lot of things much, much easier to use. They would probably be especially in your case where you mention you can't use smartphone apps, as most functionality these days is either done via app or a smart speaker. So while it's not ideal, you might be surprised at how useful they can be.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby mofan » September 6th, 2018, 9:31 am

Wow, that tech crunch article says that the i7 has 50 times more computational power in its processor than the 980. What on earth would require such a large jump in CPU horsepower? Perhaps for future updates. Colin Angle hints that the i7 will be much more of a platform to enable additional smart home features. Perhaps it can become some type of central robot that controls the smart home.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby ps0001 » September 6th, 2018, 9:37 am

I'm figuring the i7 keeps the maps it builds locally out of security concerns (iRobot caught some heat for hinting that they might store and sell maps of customers' homes on their servers), so it might have something to do with that. But I agree that future expansion might have a lot to do with it too.
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby susantx3 » September 6th, 2018, 11:39 am

Returned 2 Costco 985's today. Will wait and see what Black Friday Brings. I Bought the Roombas based upon Vic's recommendation and can confirm it is an easy Robot to live with and just plain works. Until Black Friday I will rely upon a couple of Neato D3's modified with the upgraded battery and a spiral blade brush. I should know by Black Friday if Neato is really going to add no go lines to the D3

Thanks OP for the tip on the new Roomba and to all who gave the pro and cons of the Roomba 985
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby George Jetson » September 6th, 2018, 8:21 pm

In the olden days, untangling hair from the brush and beater bearings came long before the bin was full. On those machines a self-emptying bin would have been death by melted CHM gearbox. :violin:
Am excited to see what they do with all that processing power....
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Re: The 980's Successor is Finally Announced: the i7

Postby aeromed » September 7th, 2018, 5:44 am

susantx3 wrote:Just bought the Costco 985. Should I return it?


Same question here.


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

Postby jdong » September 9th, 2018, 12:45 pm

Did anyone preorder the i7+?

According to the press release it’s showing up at retailers in October and I am tempted to get it at some place with a good return policy....
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