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Latest Roomba® Robotic Floorvacs Are Set to Sweep Europe in Time for the Holidays

Because you have better things to do!

Dirt Detection, Smart Sensors and Self-Charging Inspire a New Way of Cleaning

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 15th November, 2004: Mitsui Benelux will be distributing Roomba® Robotic Floorvacs throughout Europe in time for the holidays. Roomba, created by iRobot Corporation, a leading robotics firm founded by artificial intelligence experts, is the world's first practical and affordable home robot. More than one million Roombas have been sold to date. The new Roomba and Roomba SE, offer technological advances that include an active dirt detection system, a self-charging Home Base", longer battery run time and faster charging, giving people the ability to clean their homes more effectively and with less effort than ever before.

Roomba and Roomba SE will make home cleaning easier, faster and more efficient.

Robotics, the modern way to clean.
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.

Roomba's slim, saucer shaped profile allows it to clean under furniture in spots that traditional vacuums cannot reach. Two counter-rotating cleaning brushes sweep away larger particles, while an 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 thoroughly using less power than full-sized vacuums. 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. Roomba's circular cleaning path is built upon intelligent navigation algorithms developed by iRobot.

Roomba new generation, new features & accessories
The following intelligent advances are built into the latest Roomba and Roomba SE models to give users more convenience than ever:

  • Dirt Detect(TM) system: special sensors are able identify dirt, so Roomba spends more time cleaning especially dirty areas
  • Home Base(TM) self-charging station that Roomba returns to when finished cleaning
  • Faster charging: Roomba charges in seven hours and the Roomba SE in 3 hours
  • Longer battery run time: Roomba can now clean for up to 120 minutes
  • One button "Clean" mode: Roomba figures out the 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 know when Roomba is stuck, and help it escape
  • Design modifications allow Roomba to transition more smoothly from hardwood floor to rug
  • Quieter operation

Roomba SE comes with a self-charging Home Base. Once it is done cleaning or its battery runs low, Roomba SE simply returns to the Home Base to charge. The charge is fast - just three hours. The Roomba SE's new Dirt Detect indicator lights up when its sensors find particularly high concentrations of dirt to show that the Dirt Detect system is in effect. Roomba SE then changes its cleaning pattern to steer into the dirt. When Roomba finishes cleaning the dirty area, the light goes off and Roomba continues its standard cleaning path. Roomba SE 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.

Roomba has a simple, three-button operation and Dirt Detect system featuring the Dirt Detect indicator. Roomba comes with one Virtual Wall unit, a remote control, and a cleaning tool. Roomba charges in just seven hours and also works with the self-charging Home Base unit that can be purchased as an accessory.

Because you have better things to do!
Specifically designed with today's busy lifestyle in mind, Roomba means floor surfaces can be kept clean every day, allowing more time for other activities.

With no additional attachments necessary, Roomba is extremely light - only 2.9 kg - and very easy to carry and store away. It works efficiently on most household floor surfaces including hardwood, linoleum, tile and laminate, as well as low and medium pile carpets. Roomba even transitions automatically between different floor surfaces.

Roomba is ideal for the elderly and those with physical limitations as it is able to clean floors thoroughly in places they cannot reach or attend to. Pet owners rejoice over Roomba's dedication to removing every bit of pet hair and fur from the floor.

Co-founded in 1990 by three pioneers in artificial intelligence, iRobot is committed to using artificial intelligence technologies to develop and manufacture reliable robotic products for consumers to use in their homes. Roomba is just the first step towards creating an exciting new consumer market category of intelligent home appliances that deliver significant time and energy savings. For more information about Roomba in Europe, visit www.roomba-eu.com.

About Mitsui
Mitsui & Co. Ltd. is expanding its worldwide trading of products, logistic services, financing, investment and many other types of business. Mitsui is served by a multinational network of 214 offices in 93 countries. One of these, Mitsui & Co. Benelux N.V./S.A. (Mitsui Benelux) was set up in 1960 and has been incorporated under Belgian law since 1971. Mitsui Benelux is involved in many types of businesses, such as chemicals, plastics, electronics, metals, inorganics, machinery and general merchandise. Within its general merchandise division, Mitsui Benelux is now expanding a number of consumer product businesses. European retail distribution activities are also growing through offices in 26 cities. Their expansion will keep pace with the growth of the European economy.

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
Fabienne Heiles
Mitsui & Co, Benelux SA/NV
General Merchandise Dept.
Boulevard du Triomphe, 173
B-1160 Brussels
Belgium
Tel : +32(0)2 678 23 07
Fax : +32(0)2 678 22 41
FHeiles@bru.xm.mitsui.co.jp