iRobot Mop Unit Will Leave Bathroom Floors Sparkling

Bedford-based company iRobot is set to release a special cleaning robot designed to target sinks and toilets.

The iRobot “Braava Jet” will retail for $200 and will sponge away any grime or dirt that it finds as it makes its way around your bathroom. According to a company announcement on Tuesday, the “Braava Jet” will join the iRobot stable of robotic mops which currently includes the $300 Braava and the $600 deep-cleaning Scooba.

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iRobot range of home robots expands further

In 2014 91% of company sales came from home robots including vacuum cleaners, pool scrubbers and gutter cleaners. The most famous model is the Roomba, whose top-of-the-range model sells for $900. The range brings in 90% of revenue in the home robot area, due to the relative lack of success of the Looj gutter cleaner and the Mirra pool cleaner.

The Braava robots were developed by Evolution Robotics, a California-based firm acquired by iRobot in 2012. It is hoped that the Braava Jet will find success in non-U.S. markets such as China, where daily floor cleaning is part of routine.

iRobot has redesigned the shape of the robot to allow it to reach the tight areas found in bathrooms and kitchens. “We can get into spaces that the Braava 300 series can’t,” said Kristy Catsouphes, product manager for hard floor care at iRobot.

Specially designed Braava Jet to clean bathrooms and kitchens

The Braava Jet has a refillable water reservoir, and squirts water on the floor before passing over it to clean the area. Both the battery and the water tank are built to allow the robot to clean an area of around 150 square feet.

Users can chose between wet, damp or dry clean with three kinds of disposable scrubber pads. By attaching a different kind of cleaning pad the robot knows how much water to squirt. For example wet mode means more water. “If you have a dirty kitchen floor or a bathroom, this goes a little bit deeper, sprays a little bit more water, gets the floors a little bit cleaner,” Catsouphes said.

There are no cameras or optical sensors on the Braava Jet, but the robot records the dimensions of the room as it bumps into objects. It does however include cliff sensors which will stop the robot from toppling down stairs.