iRobot’s newest Roomba uses AI to avoid dog poop

Finally, decades of research into artificial intelligence are paying off

Using a robot vacuum has always been a bit hazardous for pet owners. Leaving a robovac to do its thing in your absence can be a problem if your less-than-perfectly-trained dog or cat also does its thing while you’re out. A quick Google of “Roomba dog poop” gives you some idea of what the outcome can be, as unheeding robots with spinning brushes barrel into the mess and proceed to spread it liberally around the house.

But now, Roomba-maker iRobot say it’s fixed this scatological problem. The company’s latest robovac, the Roomba j7+, uses built-in machine vision and AI to identify and avoid pet messes of all sorts. “It’s a big deal for us,” iRobot founder and CEO Colin Angle tells The Verge. “We’ve been working on it for a long time and we’re guaranteeing that it works.”