i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everything

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i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everything

Postby shatain00 » November 25th, 2018, 4:14 pm

I have been reading reviews on the iRobot Roomba i7 (not the i7+ can't afford that yet) and in some posts people were recommending the NEATO D7 because of the technology used for mapping - specially laser (Neato) versus camera (Roomba).

I worry about 2 factors:
- Can the roomba i7 perform well in the dark (I had hoped to run this at night)?
- Will the roomba i7 bump into everything (more so at night) when compared to laser tech from NEATO?

Has anyone done a head-to-head comparison or have any real-world feedback comparing both? From a techy-side the idea of laser mapping just seems more logical (image processing is heavy) and allow for quicker reaction (less bumping) and nightvision - but I have to assume iRobot knows best ...

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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby vic7767 » November 25th, 2018, 6:51 pm

Some illumination is required for the digital camera to function. A night light will suffice. If there is absolutely no light then the i7 will default to random movement and bumps for cleaning.
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby ps0001 » November 25th, 2018, 7:01 pm

shatain00 wrote:I worry about 2 factors:
- Can the roomba i7 perform well in the dark (I had hoped to run this at night)?
- Will the roomba i7 bump into everything (more so at night) when compared to laser tech from NEATO?

Just something to think about if you want to go with the i7: if you have any other home automation stuff (Amazon Echo, or SmartThings, etc.) it's not too difficult to put a light or two under automated control, then arrange it to turn on and off with the Roomba.

I use SmartThings, and I have the Roomba and certain lights turn on at the same time. When the cleaning mission is complete, the Roomba turns off the lights through IFTTT so I don't have to guess when it's done.

That's obviously way more complicated than Vic's suggestion, but I like to think my Roomba can clean better with more light. :lol:
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby shatain00 » November 25th, 2018, 7:17 pm

Then I have a subjective question - why would the Roomba use digital camera over the laser approach given this major limitation? I am honestly looking for a way to rationalize spending this amount of money when compared to the Neatbot D7 - is there something in the camera tech that gives it an edge or advantage over the laser solution?
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby ps0001 » November 25th, 2018, 7:21 pm

shatain00 wrote:Then I have a subjective question - why would the Roomba use digital camera over the laser approach given this major limitation? I am honestly looking for a way to rationalize spending this amount of money when compared to the Neatbot D7 - is there something in the camera tech that gives it an edge or advantage over the laser solution?

I don't really have a good answer, but iRobot has hinted that the camera will allow it to do more in the future: e.g. automatically recognize rooms, etc.

I read somewhere (I think it was here) that iRobot makes really good vacuums and Neato makes really good robots. That's probably an unfair over simplification, but I found it amusing.
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby shatain00 » November 25th, 2018, 7:45 pm

Honest and catchy - I like it :)
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby vic7767 » November 25th, 2018, 7:47 pm

Another issue that surfaces is that the mechanical Laser is subject to failure, the high runner is the small dc motor that spins the Lidar unit. Neato needs to look into solid state Lidar.
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby ps0001 » November 25th, 2018, 9:50 pm

vic7767 wrote:Another issue that surfaces is that the mechanical Laser is subject to failure, the high runner is the small dc motor that spins the Lidar unit. Neato needs to look into solid state Lidar.

That's a great point. The age old axiom: "moving parts break first."
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby Botty » November 26th, 2018, 10:11 am

ps0001 wrote: iRobot has hinted that the camera will allow it to do more in the future: e.g. automatically recognize rooms, etc.


like looking at the things in your home and figuring out what you like in order to show you better ads.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/irobot-an ... mart-home/

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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby ps0001 » November 26th, 2018, 2:11 pm

Botty wrote:like looking at the things in your home and figuring out what you like in order to show you better ads.

You're not wrong, but at almost $1,000/unit, I'd hope iRobot is making enough money without forcing more ads on us too.
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby ps0001 » November 26th, 2018, 2:27 pm

Regarding shatain00's original question, I actually experienced the i7's issues with the dark last night. I started a cleaning run right before I went to bed, but I forgot that I set the robot to do two passes since Thanksgiving. Consequently, it took longer than normal to finish, and it was still cleaning when the interior light timer made the house go dark. The Roomba found its way back to the base, but the app sent me an error in the morning saying that the job wasn't completed.
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby Botty » November 26th, 2018, 2:35 pm

I have to say, for that much money I wouldn’t want to be messing about with hardware lighthouses instead of software no-go lines and an inability to work in the dark. I picked up another neato D7 on Friday brand new for £399 from amazon and the value for money seems better.
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby ps0001 » November 26th, 2018, 4:00 pm

To each their own. The i7 does what I need it to do, and I've admittedly made the lighting thing more complicated than it needs to be. Like Vic said, a night light would've been sufficient.
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby jdong » November 26th, 2018, 4:44 pm

It really doesn’t need much light. Just leaving one table lamp or a night light on seems to make it happy for me.

It used to struggle a ton when the sun sets during its cleaning cycle but not lately, so kudos to iRobot for updating even the 980’s navigation algorithm to fix that flaw.
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby RTC » November 27th, 2018, 12:37 am

Don't know about i7, but my 980 just loops in circles in the dark accomplishing nothing. I always turn on room lights before starting it.
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Re: i7 - does it perform in the DARK and does it bump everyt

Postby vic7767 » November 27th, 2018, 1:12 am

The answer to this thread is given in the second post.
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