05.11.18

Google and iRobot want to optimise home mapping

iRobot Roomba 980 smart room mapping robot in home with arrows showing movement

Home robots from the likes of iRobot may not be a staple of the connected home just yet, but the manufacturer hopes working to enhance the technology with the help Google could progress adoption.

Home robots are chiefly cleaning tools running for now – but the home mapping technology inside could potentially have wider use when it comes to building an automated home.

In a bid to develop this, iRobot has partnered with Google to work on collecting and optimising data using consumer robots to create smarter homes.

The two companies as yet are being quite coy as to what exactly they have up their collective sleeves (a slightly risky strategy perhaps considering Google’s reputation for data collection and how it is using it), but iRobot’s head honcho, Colin Angle, did tell The Verge that they are potentially looking at bettering how smart home products are located in the home. Looking ahead, this could equate to robots knowing where home appliances and entertainment/lighting products are in the residence and work in harmony with them.

Essentially, the goal is to find “additional ways” Google and iRobot can support the home – such as Roomba’s spatial awareness & mapping functionality to “simplify home setup” and support “powerful new automations” – beyond the Google Assistant integration currently offered.

Addressing security concerns, Google has been quick to come out and say having data collected about your home would be strictly opt-in and wouldn’t be used for ads or to try and boost uptake of other Google services, but this is from the same company that rather shamelessly used its homepage to advertise the release of its recently launched Home Hub


 
 
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