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iRobot Introduces A New Way of Cleaning with Roomba Discovery Line of Robotic Floorvacs

Dirt Detection, Smart Sensors and Self-Charging Make Manual Vacuuming Obsolete

BURLINGTON, <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 /?>Mass., July 12, 2004 - iRobot, creator of the first affordable robotic vacuum, breaks through standard housekeeping conventions today with the launch of its new Roomba Discovery line of robotic floorvacs. The Roomba Discovery floorvacs offer technological advances, such as an active dirt detection system, a self-charging Home Base, longer battery run time and faster charging, which give people the ability to clean their homes more effectively and with less effort than ever before.  

The original award-winning Roomba Robotic Floorvac became the world's first practical home robot with over a half-million of the robotic vacuums sold to date.  Because iRobot also designs advanced robots for government, industrial and scientific purposes, it can offer consumers the most up-to-date technology at low cost. Millions of dollars worth of research and development and a team of dedicated robotics experts who want to find dirt better stand behind Roomba's development.  The new Roomba Discovery line incorporates especially intelligent new features that allow Roomba to clean more autonomously than ever. These features include:

  • Dirt Detect active dirt response system: special sensors alert Roomba to dirt so it spends more time cleaning dirty areas, detecting particles as fine as ground pepper
  • Home Base: self-charging station that Roomba automatically returns to when done cleaning
  • Faster charging: Advanced Power System charges in under three hours
  • Longer battery run time: Roomba can now clean for up to 120 minutes
  • One button Clean mode: Roomba calculates room size and how much time it needs to clean
  • Bigger dust bin that holds three times more dirt
  • More powerful vacuum for better cleaning on deeper pile carpet
  • Smart sensors that know when Roomba is stuck and help it escape
  • Design modifications allow Roomba to transition more smoothly from hardwood to rug
  • Quieter operation

The sleek, pearl white Roomba Discovery ($249) comes with a self-charging Home Base.  Once it is done cleaning or its battery runs low, Roomba Discovery simply returns to the Home Base to charge.  The charge is fast - just three hours. The Roomba Discovery's new Dirt Detect indicator lights up when it finds particularly high concentrations of dirt to show that the Dirt Detect system is in effect.  Roomba then changes its cleaning pattern to steer into the dirt using sonic sensors that hear dirt.  When Roomba finishes cleaning the dirty area, the light goes off and Roomba continues its standard cleaning path.  Roomba Discovery also is sold with a remote control so that users can direct it where to clean first, two Virtual Wall units that contain Roomba to a specific area, and a wall mount for easy storage. 

The Discovery's partner, Roomba Red ($149) is being offered at iRobot's lowest introductory price ever.  Perfect for anyone who hates to vacuum, Roomba Red has a simple, two-button operation and Dirt Detect system featuring the Dirt Detect indicator.  Roomba Red comes with one Virtual Wall unit that prevents it from getting into places it shouldn't and charges in just seven hours.  It works with the optional self-charging Home Base unit and remote control. Both are offered separately on iRobot's Web site, www.irobot.com.

"With the new Discovery line, we've created a smarter way to have a cleaner home", said Colin Angle, chief executive officer of iRobot. "We've tested the Roomba Discovery against leading vacuums and it cleaned more of each room and with greater thoroughness. Roomba Discovery is also simpler to operate and more intelligent.  It's a better way to clean because it does everything for you."

Roomba Robotic Floorvacs are designed with features that make them safe and easy to use.  Roomba's two counter-rotating cleaning brushes sweep away larger particles, while a small, extremely efficient vacuum sucks up smaller particles. Additionally, Roomba uses a spinning side brush to push dirt from edges into the path of the main cleaning head.  This allows Roomba to clean powerfully and thoroughly using less power than full-sized vacuums.  In addition to one or two Virtual Wall units, standard features include a cliff-avoidance detector that prevents Roomba from falling down stairs and a non-marring bumper that protects walls and furniture from scuffing. 

Thanks to the unique intelligence inside Roomba, users can feel comfortable leaving it to clean while they turn their attention to other things. Roomba's slim profile allows it to scoot under beds and chairs to areas that normal vacuums never reach.  It has a higher Coverage Per Room (CPR) ratio than any competitor, making it excellent for anyone who wants a cleaner home.  Allergy sufferers, pet owners, parents, seniors, disabled people and even messy teenagers can now maintain clean floors with very little effort.

Roomba Discovery line robotic vacuums are available for order on the iRobot Web site at www.irobot.com.  By early fall, the new models will be available in numerous retail stores, including Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Linens 'n Things, Kohls, Best Buy, Macy's, Sears, Filene's, Robinsons May, Hecht's, The Sharper Image, Brookstone, Hammacher Schlemmer, Amazon.com, and other retailers.

About iRobot Corporation
iRobot has a long commitment to building robotic products that make living safer and easier for people in many walks of life. Over the past 14 years, iRobot has developed and built innovative products for the government, law enforcement, industrial cleaning and toy industries, as well as the consumer marketplace.  In 2003, co-founders Helen Greiner and Colin Angle were named Ernst & Young regional Entrepreneurs of the Year for their innovative work in technology.  For additional information about iRobot, visit www.irobot.com.

Contact:

Nancy Dussault
iRobot
ndussault@irobot.com
781-345-0200 x323

Elena Frigeri
A&R Partners for iRobot
(212) 905-6153
efrigeri@arpartners.com