Roomba’s automatic vacuums of the near future could have robotic arms

iRobot's next major hardware launch will be the Terra lawnmower this year.

On Thursday at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Conference, the maker of the automatic Roomba vacuum iRobot told Bloomberg that a bot with arms is currently in the works.

In addition to their automatic floor cleaning Roomba vacuums, iRobot told Bloomberg at CES this week that a “household helper that will have arms that could load dishes, pick up clothes, or bring food from kitchen to table” is in development.

The company estimates that the launch of such a bot is still at least five years away; however, prototypes of the robotic arms already exist inside iRobot’s R&D labs.

In the meantime, the brand’s next significant new hardware launch will be the Terra lawnmower this year.

Terra lawnmower. Picture: iRobot

This device will work in essentially the same manner as that of the indoor, floor-cleaning Roomba: with beacons placed around the perimeter of a yard acting as walls, the Terra mower will autonomously drive itself around the yard cutting grass in a vertical straight-line pattern while avoiding obstacles.

Because they’re developing a robot designed to help with physical tasks rather than managing a home with digital voice assistants, iRobot could potentially have an upper hand in this part of the industry in contrast with leading tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Samsung.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Read more on these topics

gadgets Robotics