The Roomba robot vacuum was pretty popular when it came out. Now iRobot’s Roomba has a little bit of competition from Toshiba’s Smarbo.
So what is the major difference between the Roomba and the Smarbo? Well, for one, the price of the Smarbo is around $1,200. That is pretty expensive for a vacuum. The price reminds me of when one of those at home demonstrators came to my house and tried to sell me one of those Rainbow vacuum cleaners/air purifier thingies that costs $3,000. That price just seems a little steep for something that could get stepped on, broken or stuck. Not to mention that these little robotic vacuums are rather small. I have a dog that sheds a lot and I just do not think this thing could pick up all the hair in one trip.
The Smarbo has two CPU’s that make the machine go although Toshiba hasn’t said what kind. There is a camera on board and 38 sensors that tell the little vacuum where to go, when to stop, how much to accelerate and the distance of objects. The little thing can sure move, that is for sure. The Smarbo can cover 100sqm in just 90 minutes. Also, if you are worried about being green then little vacuum will only cost about $0.03 to clean a room of that size.
The new Smarbo will be released on October 1st in Japan and comes with a remote control and chargin station. Let the robotic vacuum war begin.