CES 2019: Ecovacs’ new robot vacuum uses AI to recognise the stuff on your floor

With the Deebot Ozmo 960 you won't have to clean up before using your cleaner
Image: Ecovac

7 January 2019

It’s one of the ironies of technology: If you own a robot vacuum cleaner, you need to scurry around the house pre-cleaning the floor of cables, socks, and other byproducts of our busy lives so the vacuum doesn’t end up getting stuck on them.

Ecovacs says it has solved this problem with an artificial intelligence system in its new Deebot Ozmo 960. The robot vacuum cleaner packs an object and environmental recognition system that can recognize “select” obstacles lying on the floor and avoid them. The list includes things like socks, charging docks, and cables. If it works, it could be quite useful.

Many robot vacuum cleaners already have sensors that detect and avoid large objects, such as table legs and chairs, and some even map out their surroundings for more efficient cleaning.

But leave a charging cable lying on the floor and it’s almost guaranteed the vacuum will find it, run over it, and end up with it tangled around its brushes, unable to continue cleaning until its owner comes home and rescues it.

Recognising the privacy concerns around collecting images in a home, Ecovacs says the cleaner won’t store any images and won’t send them back to the company, although you can opt-in to provide data to help improve the AI technology.

The Deebot Ozmo 960 was announced at CES today but it won’t be available until summer 2019.

At about the same time, Ecovacs is also planning to launch its latest mobile air purifier, the Atmobot.

The device uses ultrasonic and laser sensors to create a map of its surroundings so it can navigate around a house like the robot vacuum cleaners. Using the map, it picks out a spot to park itself and run its air purification system and, once air quality is acceptable, moves to another spot in the home to run again.

The result, says Ecovacs, will be clean and fresh air throughout the house without the hassle of moving a portable air purifier from room to room.

If users don’t like the spot the Atmobot chooses, they can set a new one manually using the companion app.

IDG News Service

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