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iRobot Launches Roomba Discovery
Jul 13, 2004
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iRobot, based in Burlington, MA, U.S., launched the Roomba Discovery line of robotic floorvacs, designed to offer several technological advances.

The company, which sells the Roomba line of robotic floorvacs, also designs robots for government, industrial, and scientific applications. The company describes the original Roomba as "the world's first practical home robot" and says that a half-million of the vacuums have been sold.

Designed into the Discovery line is a system of sensors that alert the device to dirt, detecting particles as fine as ground pepper. The Dirt Detect active dirt response system causes the vacuum to spend more time cleaning dirty areas.

Other sensors tell the Roomba when it becomes stuck and can help it escape.

The unit's power-supply system was re-engineered to provide longer battery run time of up to 120 min. The Advanced Power System charges the unit in under three hours, which is less than the original model. The new model has a Home Base self-charging station, to which the Roomba automatically returns when done cleaning.

The redesign of the floorvac's control system allows for the incorporation of a one-button Clean Mode, in which the appliance calculates room size and how much time it needs to clean.

Changes to the mechanics of the unit include a bigger dust bin to hold three times more dirt. A more powerful vacuum allows for better cleaning on deeper pile carpet. Other design modifications are designed to let the unit transition more smoothly from hardwood to rug, as well as provide quieter operation.

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