Darby stated Thursday that he recalled walking into his office, and seeing a scene of murder. But with lots of poop.
She said that the Roomba had run over a power cable in her office and kept going around, making tracks similar to crop circles. After her husband failed to get it clean, they threw the rug and power cords out and then, finally, the Roomba.
Darby works as a public relations professional. She said that her husband purchased another Roomba, and they started using it at night. However, the same thing happened after MacGregor suffered another injury indoors. Darby adopted MacGregor despite the Roomba pee-spreading.
IRobot (the company behind the Roomba) is working to reduce this type of accident by using artificial intelligence. On Thursday, iRobot (IRBT), announced a new Roomba robot vacuum cleaner named the j7+. It uses artificial intelligence to detect and avoid pet poop as well as power cords.
The vacuum is available for purchase through iRobot starting at $850 or $650 if purchased without a base into which the vacuum can empty dirt automatically.
Colin Angle, IRobot CEO and cofounder, said that although a power line is the main obstacle for Roomba’s to be caught, pet poop proves to be “most spectacularly dangerous”. Angle, who is a parent to a dog, stated that this had never happened in his house. He said that the company had considered a variety of technologies for over five years, including capacitive sensors which measure pressure and olfactory sensor which detects odor for waste detection.
It became easier to pack the required computing power into the Roomba so it could recognize pet waste using machine vision. But in order to make this possible, the company first had to create a diverse dataset of poop (and no, it’s not the only company that has spent time working on poop recognition).
Angle stated that iRobot has spent many years creating a collection of photos of poop. He said that the company started by purchasing “all the realistic gag-poop available on the Internet.” Then, it expanded into creating hundreds of Playdoh poop model kits, which were painted in brown and taken under different lighting conditions and at different angles. Every iRobot employee who has a pet believes that the animal’s waste was photographed from many angles.
Cameras are used to identify obstacles and image recognition algorithms based on iRobot’s data can be used to determine if the obstacle is poop. A companion smartphone app, which can be downloaded to the phone of the owner, will alert them and take a photo (or even the power cord) of their vacuum. Angle explained that if an obstruction is found, Angle can notify the owner via their smartphone app and ask them if they would like to add the image to iRobot’s training data.
According to him, the company was confident in its ability to eliminate pet waste and will be replacing any j7+ vacuums with deep, dare I say, goo-doo.
Angle stated, “We felt that that was an important component of conveying that we believe that this one is under our control.”
Darby has been thinking about buying the j7+. Darby said that her family has been through many Roombas and could benefit from a brand new one.
Publited at Thu, 09 Sep 2021 02:47:06 +0000