The Roomba i3 and i3 Plus robot vacuums from iRobot can now map your home.

The excellent, more affordable Roomba i3 robot vacuum from iRobot received a firmware update this week that gives it new powers. Existing users and anyone picking up the $349.99 Roomba i3 can now use smart maps to tell their robot exactly where to clean.

This feature, which only lets you send the bot to vacuum a specific room or rooms rather than everywhere it can go, was previously only available on the more expensive s9, j7 and i7 Roombas in iRobot’s top-end range.

The update lives up to iRobot’s promise that the iRobot Genius software will make your robot smarter at no extra cost to you. Smart mapping, which is done without a camera, lets the vacuum learn the floor plan of your home so you can specifically direct it where to clean using the iRobot Home app or a voice assistant, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Prior to the update, the i3 could map your house to show you where it had been cleaned while running, but it couldn’t remember the maps and use it for future cleaning.

However, Keep Out Zones and Clean Zones (areas made into rooms, such as “for the couch”) are not included. So users will still have to use the Virtual Wall Barriers that iRobot sells separately to prevent the robot from going places it shouldn’t. Or just close a few doors.

The Roomba i3 works in tandem with the Clean Base to automatically empty the robot’s bin.
Image: iRobot

This update makes the distinction between models a bit narrower. In addition to the app-enabled Keep Out and Clean zones, Roomba j7 Plus adds $800 intelligent navigation that helps it identify and avoid household items like cables, shoes, and yes — dog poop.

The $1,000 Roomba s9 Plus has the most powerful suction in the line, plus a D-shaped bot that helps it get into corners better, but not the intelligent navigation. All three models can work together with iRobot’s Braava Jet M6 robotic mop and send it to the mop after they’re done vacuuming.

The i3 is the cheapest robot vacuum iRobot sells, and it works with the company’s Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal technology, which empties the robot’s bin for you. The i3 costs $349.99 and the i3 Plus costs $549.99 for the robot and the Clean Base. In addition to the new features, the i3 has also been given a new name, i3 EVO.

The other “i” in the lineup – the i7 Plus – is no longer for sale on iRobot.com. It is closest to the i3 in function, although it works with Keep Out and Clean zones.

The i3 model is also sold at various stores such as Costco under the name i4 and i4 Plus, and these robot vacuums are also getting the firmware update.

Frank Broholm had acquired considerable experience in writing and editing publications before recruited by The Media Today Chronicle News portal as Editorial Manager. His key task is to conduct effective business reviews based on the most recent business…