In recent years, a number of consumer devices have offered Internet-enabled features and other forms of connectivity. Not only does this allow for updates to the core software of these devices, but it also allows them to interact with each other and often lets their functionality be automated as well. It makes sense that you’d see this sort of functionality in devices such as robotic vacuums, which seem ready made to integrate with your house in a deeper sense.
Every current model of Roomba robotic vacuum (and many other robotic vacuums as well) features Wi-Fi connectivity and the ability to program and control the vacuum from a smartphone app. This is great for those who either already have smart home devices or are thinking of getting them, since it makes it much easier to add cleaning to your home automation routine. Here are just a few of the ways that a Roomba or similar vacuum can make your home that much smarter.
Programming and Automation
Even if you don’t plan to go for a full-on smart home at the moment, having a Roomba or similar robotic vacuum can make keeping your home clean that much easier. These vacuums have multiple sensors to help them avoid objects in the floor, and you can program them to run at certain times so that they aren’t underfoot during the day. After their initial programming, you generally won’t have to do anything else to them, as they can run automatically and even find their charging dock on their own when their batteries get low.
Digital Assistant Control
If you want to take your Roomba automation a step further, you can connect it to a digital assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant. This will let you start the vacuum with voice commands using an Echo or Google Home device as a hub. Not only will this make occasional cleanups that fall outside of your programmed schedule that much easier, but it can also let you program cleanup as part of a larger routine. An example of this would be if you were expecting company, you could set up a routine so that while you ran to the store you could have your Roomba vacuum while a smart thermostat adjusted the temperature and your smart lights turned off.
It’s possible that you might want your Roomba to interact with other smart devices that don’t connect directly to your digital assistant. Fortunately, there’s an app called IFTTT (“IF This, Then That”) which lets you connect different services that might not integrate otherwise. There are a wide variety of user-made interactions that cover smart devices, apps and more. You can even make your own if you can’t find what you’re looking for among what’s already on the platform. This enables some really useful interactions, as well as some that are intended just for fun. As an example, you could even set up IFTTT to send out a tweet on behalf of your Roomba every time it started cleaning or had to recharge itself if you wanted.
Sweep and Mop
If you weren’t aware, the makers of the Roomba also make a robotic mop unit for hardwood and laminate floors. Known as the Braava robot mop, these little units move over non-carpeted floors without leaving scuffs or other marks and can tackle a wide range of dirt, spills and stains. Best of all, you can program these mops using the same app that you use for setting up and programming your Roomba.