As known, in September 2018 and May 2019, iRobot introduced Roomba i7/i7+ and more powerful D-shaped Roomba s9/s9+ with an innovative docking station for i7+ and s9+ versions.
It provided automatic emptying of the robot’s onboard dustbin.
Probably, they can be positioned as a new generation of robot vacuums. Indeed, the ultimate goal of robots is the complete cleaning automation. Of course, it’s not possible for mopping mode due to the need to manually fill the water tank and change the dirty water.
But the dry cleaning mode does not have this limitation. Until 2018, the need to empty the onboard dustbin, whose capacity usually does not exceed 400-500 ml, significantly limited the cleaning automation level. In fact, new station has removed the last hurdle to fully automate for dry cleaning mode. Combined with scheduling, efficient obstacle avoidance, self-recharge, laser navigation, and other modern smart options, these models can automatically clean an apartment on a schedule, usually in the absence of the owners. At the same time, the dirt compartment volume on the docking station is enough for about 1-2 month.
Of course, this innovation was enthusiastically embraced by the consumer market. As a result, for several years, the list of such models has expanded rapidly.
Most popular models:
– iRobot Roomba s9+ (s955020) – $1,100;< /p>
– Xiaomi Roborock S7+ – $ 950;
– Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+ – $ 700;
– iRobot Roomba i3+ (3550) – $ 500;
– Airrobo T10+ – $ 500;
– Rozi R7 – $ 500;
– TCL Sweeva 6500 – $ 500;
– Shark RV1001AE IQ – $ 480.
Last year, iRobot once again proved its high innovative potential by introducing Roomba j7+ using machine learning technology. But honestly, the $ 800 Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI also uses AI-powered obstacle-avoidance technology.
Of course, the expansion of smart options has significantly expanded the functionality. For example, using built-in camera, the Roomba j7+ easily detects and automatically avoids socks, cords and even pet waste. In addition, the AI robot ‘understands’ your feedback, which further simplifies detecting and bypassing potential obstacles.
At the charging station, the dust is automatically sucked out of the robot’s onboard dustbin into a sealed bag with allergen protection.
After recharging, the robot continues to work from where it stopped.
The j7+ costs $ 850 and comes with a self-emptying base. Its dirt compartment volume is enough 60 days. Roomba j7 without this option costs $ 650. This novelty is cheaper than the more powerful s9 + by $ 250, and uses more advanced obstacle avoidance technology. The company specifies a maximum climbing height up to 1 inch (~2.54 cm). But in reality, the robot confidently overcomes slopes up to 0.8 inches (2 cm).
As known, iRobot does not indicate the suction power of their models in generally accepted pascal (Pa), preferring to use the multiplicity in relation to the entry-level Roomba 600 series. For example, Roomba j7+ is 10 times more powerful, and s9+ is 40 times more powerful vs 600 series.
Compared to the s9, the company has moved the camera from the top to the front, increasing the field of view. In addition, small LED illuminates the area in front of the robot, improving the obstacle recognition efficiency. It’s especially effective at cleaning darkened corners, near steps, etc.
Using the built-in database, j7+ recognizes objects, including phone cords, power cables, pet waste, etc.
In the future, the company promises to expand it.
Moreover, emphasizing its confidence in the PrecisionVision Navigation, the company offers a POOP (Pet Owner Official Promise) guarantee.
It promises a free robot vacuum, if the j7+ cannot avoid contact with solid pet waste within a year. Perhaps this is the most unusual guarantee.
Unfortunately the j7+ is not an ultra-low profile model, which limits its ability to clean under furniture. The robot height is 3.4 inches. For comparison, the height of the Eufy RoboVac G30 or TCL Sweeva 1000 / 2000 is only 2.85 and 2.76 inches, respectively.
Like all Roomba models, j7+ has Dirt Detect technology which uses optical and acoustic sensors to detect dirt and debris.
With their high concentration in some area, the robot makes several passes until the floor is clean.
After several cycles, the Roomba builds Smart Map to run smart features, including creating a room vacuuming path, virtual boundaries, and cleaning schedule.
Honestly, $ 950 Roborock S7+ or the $ 250 Wyze Robot Vacuum with lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) on top creates a similar map in one run, but this is hardly essential. The use of smart features in iRobot is much easier, which is more important for most users.
When mapping, the floor plan automatically is divided into multiple rooms. Then, the robot activates edit mode to add / remove the boundary lines, and to label each room. Vacuum Everywhere / New Job commands in the app provides a choice of cleaning mode. Additionally, Clean Zones option allows the owner to select high-traffic areas, for example, around the couch.
Of course, a cleaning schedule radically increases the automation level. For example, automatic vacuuming at a certain time provides cleaning during the absence of the owners. The targeted mode is convenient for cleaning under the kitchen table every night after dinner. Together with automatic dirt disposal on base, the robot almost completely frees the owner from the hassle. They boil down to replacing garbage bags at the base once every few months.
The robot successfully maneuvers between furniture and overcomes the edges of carpets. If it getting stuck, the app sends an alert to the smartphone. While cleaning, the j7+ takes pictures of the obstacle areas. This very convenient option allows the owner to set the robot to bypass this area or clear it.
The edge-sweeping brush, dual multi-surface rubber brushes and power-lifting suction provide high performance on any surface.
Cleaning hard floors is no problem, but the front bumper sometimes pushes large debris in front.
Installing the iRobot Home app for Android and iOS is simple and intuitive. After naming the robot, j7+ automatically connects to the virtual assistant via the iRobot Home skill. The connecting to Google Assistant is also easily done via the Google Home app with on-screen instructions. The whole process takes several minutes.
The internal dustbin is washed if necessary, but without filter. The red color of status indicator informs about the filling a disposable dirtbag. In this case, dustbin is blocked. Non-washable HEPA filter inside the dirt compartment is cleaned by tapping. Brushrolls are cleaned from hair tangles or debris several times a week, depending on the cleaning intensity. Side Brush is cleaned once a month. The front caster wheel is cleaned every two weeks. Sensors and charging contacts are wiped with a dry cloth every two weeks.
The model comes with two dirt bags, which should last for several months. Dirt compartment volume on the docking station is 0.7 gal or 2.65 liter, and an internal onboard dustbin has capacity of 0.25 liter. Later, you can purchase a pack of three for $ 20.
The battery life of this model is just under an hour and a half. Of course, this is not the highest figure for the premium segment. For comparison, Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI and the Neabot NoMo N1 last 170 and 150 minutes on a single charge, respectively. But the Self-Recharge option has drastically reduced the importance of this criterion. Therefore, the choice in favor of price and compactness due to less capacious batteries seems quite reasonable. In reality, a full charge provides cleaning around 1,000 sqft (over 90 m²).
Pros & Cons
– advanced AI-powered obstacle-avoidance technology;
– auto-empty base;
– great iRobot Home app;
– powerful enough even for high-pile carpets;
– great range of automation features, including Genius 3.0 (cleaning schedules).
– customizable Keep Out Zones and Clean Zones;
– fully compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices;
– surface detection feature (auto adaptation to different floor types);
– POOP (Pet Owner Official Promise) guarantee with PrecisionVision Navigation;
– no hair tangles due to two rubber brushrolls;
– fully compatible with iRobot Braava Jet M-Series robot mop (Imprint Link Technology feature activates Braava after vacuuming).
– low noise level.
The noise level is only about 60db, which corresponds to a normal conversation or air conditioner. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), most people begin to experience discomfort at 70db or more. But of course the noise gets louder when the debris is sucked out from the on-board bin into the dust bag on the Clean Base. However, this process takes about 15 seconds.
– high price;
– regular cleaning the many parts;
– not ultra-thin profile limits cleaning under furniture.
Of course, the height of 3.4 inches limits cleaning under low-profile furniture. On the other hand, this is an inevitable compromise between size and suction power. For example, the height of one of the most powerful Dyson 360 Eye reaches 4.72 inches (almost 12 cm).
This premium model expands iRobot lineup with option of dustbin self-emptying. Compared to the S9+, it’s cheaper ($ 850 vs $ 1,100), lighter and ‘smarter’, but significantly less powerful. Compared to the i3+, the j7+ is more expensive ($ 850 vs $ 500), but significantly ‘smarter’, and has higher maneuverability, performance and functionality. In terms of price, it’s closest to the i7+ ($ 850 vs $ 800), and can be positioned as an improved version of it with AI-powered obstacle-avoidance technology. In fact, the company has expanded its range with a more ‘smart’ model, while maintaining the previous price level. What’s more, j7+ is available for less than $ 800.
Among other brands, j7+ competes with great $ 950 Xiaomi Roborock S7+.
Surprisingly, iRobot j7+ performance on high-pile carpet is higher compared to low-pile carpet.
Probably the POOP (Pet Owner Official Promise) guarantee is the funniest one on the consumer electronics market today. To prevent contamination, this robot uses the pet waste photo database. Common sense dictates that they are different for a piglet, an iguana or a dog. Therefore, it’s not clear that the warranty applies only to cats and dogs or to any pets. In other words, will the company give out a free robot vacuum if such an embarrassment happens, for example, with piglet’s waste?
This video demonstrates the iRobot Roomba J7+ robot vacuum.