The area of consumer robotics is starting to pick up as more and more people are looking at other ways to clear their busy schedule.
Here we can talk about some devices like robot vacuums, lawn mowers and snow blowers, pool cleaners, window and eavestrough cleaners and more.
We have had the famous Roomba Vacuum for years now and its many competitors. We will look at a few of the versions here and the parts that can be replaced and common repair issues.
There are lawn mower robots and pool cleaning robots …window washing… and there has been a small foot long eavestrough cleaning robot from the Irobot company for around 10 years…how time flies!
This area of robotics is known as “Raas” or “robotics as a service”
A company called Robin Autopilot USA which has been developing robotic mowers purchased the Mowbot company which has a franchise of robot lawn mowers. Robin is expanding their partnership with Husquavarna. Robin is also involved with the major grass and weed company in the US called Weedman.
Big power plays are taking place in the robotic lawn mower sector. Last years prices in Canada for a robotic mower was not cheap at around several thousand dollars.
There is a new growing industry in the repair and reselling of robot vacuums and at this point mostly the Rhoomba.
It could simply be a matter of changing the filter or removing the hair in the wheel assembly or all the way to doing some programming on it.
People are using Microsofts VPL Visual Programming language to work on them. Others are totally hacking broken ones with Arduino boards to do various other things.
There is a handful of major brands in the marketplace like Irobot Roomba, Shark, Bissel, Ecovac.
Most have small dustbins on board and some will return to the base to empty their contents while others have larger or two dustbins in the unit.
More have added wifi capability so you can control them with an APP from your smartphone.
The newer ones will return to their bases for recharging.
Older robot vacuums simply used sensors to find their way around the rooms while the newer ones will map out where they go and remember that pattern for the next vacuum job.
Some perform better on thicker rugs and not so well on hardwood floors so make sure to check some review sites before you buy.
You can buy a SnowBot from Hangyang for around $30,000 if you have a lot of snow to clear out.
If you have a pool there are at least a dozen major makes of robot pool cleaners like Polaris, Hayward, Zodiac and Baracuda.
IRobot has had a neat device that will clean your eavestroughs of leaves and gunk for about 10 years now and it is less than a few hundred dollars. You have to get it up and into the eavestrough though.
There are a handful of brands to clean your windows like Hobot, Ecovacs, Mamibot, Gladwell, Fegrui and Wexbi.
You can have robots fetch you your slippers or your beer.
This company made a little rolling beer cooler a few years back that was operated by a remote control so it wasnt technically a robot but it looked like a Robot vacuum.
There are all kinds of other consumer robots that we will mention here soon.