REVIEW: iRobot Roomba 780 robot vacuum cleaner

The future promised a lot, and while robot butlers and hovercars are still pipe-dreams, robot vacuum cleaners are very much a reality. Hot on the heels of its IFA 2011 unveiling, Tech Digest got to spend some quality time with our very own clean-freak R2D2, the iRobot Roomba 780 vacuum cleaner. Read on to see whether or not it's time to send the Dyson to the dumpster.

Opinion: Why are robots still so rubbish!

Jon_small_new.jpgSo there I was on Friday, snowed under with work and wanting the weekend to arrive but take a bit longer than usual to get here so I could finish off everything I needed to do. And then it struck me, what I actually needed was some help around the house. No, I don’t mean an eastern European cleaner, or a girlfriend – the first is too expensive and the second a lot of hassle, or should that be the other way around?

And then I read on Tech Digest about the iRobot Looj: the robot that cleans your gutter. Now that’s more like it! A robot for cleaning my gutter, I WANT ONE! The fact my gutting doesn’t need cleaning and is currently free of leaves, is of no consequence…

iRobot launches ConnectR remote-controlled VoIP video robot


Having unveiled the Looj gutter-cleaning robot earlier today, iRobot has now shown off another new bot, the ConnectR. It’s a ‘virtual communication and interaction’ robot designed for families.

Basically, it hooks up to your home Wi-Fi network, and lets you dial in remotely to have videochats and VoIP calls with people in the house (or pets, weirdly – if your dog doesn’t mind woofing into a communication robot).

iRobot Looj: the robot that cleans your gutter


Still think robots aren’t useful? Check this one out. It’s called the iRobot Looj, and it cleans your gutter so you don’t have to spend half a day shinning up and down a ladder doing the job yourself.

It stands 2.25-inches high, and sweeps out dirt, leaves and other debris while you settle down for a nice cup of tea. Or, if you’re like us, gather all your neighbours round to boast about your new gutter-cleaning robot.

Tech Digest's Robot World Cup: Semi-Final


No, we hadn’t forgotten about it. We were just giving the final bots in our Robot World Cup a few weeks to rest their bones (well, mechanical joints) before rejoining battle. And what a battle it is. We’re at the semi-final stage, which means the last four robots in the competition. Three of ’em are humanoid: Honda’s Asimo, WowWee’s Robosapien RS Media, and KornTech’s Rogun. The quartet is completed by iRobot’s military Packbot, which swaps legs for tank treads.