Press Releases

iRobot Introduces Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac - The First Automatic Floor Cleaner In The U.S.
... Launches New Consumer Robotics Division To Bring Benefits of Advanced Navigation Technology To The Home
PRNewswire
BOSTON

iRobot Corporation, a leading developer of robotic technology products, today unveiled Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac -- the first automatic floor vac available in the U.S. Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac uses iRobot's unique advanced navigation technology to automatically clean all household floor surfaces, including carpet, tile, wood and linoleum, so people can spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying their lives. Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac is available for $199.95 (SRP) at Brookstone, The Sharper Image and Hammacher Schlemmer -- online starting this week and in stores in October. It can also be purchased directly from iRobot at http://www.roombavac.com/.

With its new consumer robotics division, iRobot is applying its unique expertise in artificial intelligence technology and cost effective manufacturing to develop consumer appliances that work beyond human physical limitations, to enhance productivity and save valuable personal time.

"Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac is an important next step in iRobot's mission to provide useful technology innovations for the home that simplify people's everyday lives. In developing Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac, we focused on offering the highest levels of cleaning, safety and navigation," said Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot. "Our vision is to create products that make it possible for housekeeping to be something you do by choice. If you choose not to, our automatic products will offer a simple, easy and effective alternative. Its affordable price of $199.95 will finally make the benefits of advanced navigation technology attainable to the average consumer."

"Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac reflects the innovation inherent in products that Brookstone offers to its customers and is a natural fit to our selection this fall," said Brookstone President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Anthony. "The groundbreaking technology behind Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac offers great promise now and into the future to make the lives of our customers easier, better and more enjoyable."

iRobot's current focus on home floor care with the launch of Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac builds on its previous experience in developing an industrial floor cleaning machine with Johnson Wax Professional and the Tennant Company, a leading manufacturer of floor care equipment.

"Our unique experience working with floor care industry leaders like Johnson/Diversey and Tennant Corporation, and in toy manufacturing and product safety with Hasbro, enables us to lead the market in delivering advanced floor care products at affordable prices," added Angle.

How Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac Works

Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac has a proprietary two-stage cleaning mechanism featuring a high efficiency particle vacuum and cleaning brushes that provide exceptional surface cleaning. The advanced intelligent navigation system allows the floor vac to achieve thorough coverage of open areas as well as a special edge-cleaning mode to clean against kickboards in the kitchen.

When Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac starts cleaning it travels around the floor in a spiral pattern until its non-marring bumper gently comes into contact with an object or a wall. It then begins cleaning along the wall using its special Wall Following Sensor. This both cleans that edge (using its Spinning Side Brush to get right up to the edge), and brings the floor vac to a new part of the room. It then either makes a new spiral or makes some straight runs before allowing the edge cleaning routine to bring it to a new place. Cliff Avoidance Sensors detect stairs guiding the floor vac to turn away from them. Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac can fit under the kickboards in the kitchen and can clean underneath beds or furniture less than four inches off the floor. Over the course of time Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac will cover each part of the room 2-5 times.

About iRobot

iRobot has a long commitment to advancing the robotics industry and over the past 12 years has developed technology and built numerous products for the U.S. military, law enforcement, energy, industrial cleaning and toy industries, and now the consumer marketplace.

iRobot is headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, just outside of downtown Boston, with branch offices in Milford, New Hampshire, and San Luis Obispo, California. For additional information visit http://www.roombavac.com/ or http://www.irobot.com/

                                FACT SHEET
                     Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac


  Who:       iRobot, the leading developer of robotic technology products,
             introduces Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac to the U.S. consumer
             market.

  What:      Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac is the first automatic home
             floor-cleaning appliance available in the U.S.  The Roomba™
             FloorVac automatically sweep vacs all household surfaces,
             including wood, tile, carpet and linoleum, so people can spend
             less time cleaning and more time enjoying their lives.  The
             product's $199.95 (SRP) price point is unprecedented, making
             the benefits of advanced navigation technology affordable to
             the U.S. consumer market.

  When:      Introduced to the U.S. market, September 18, 2002.

  Where:     Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac can be purchased online at
             http://www.roombavac.com/ or at specialty retailers:
             Brookstone, The Sharper Image, Hammacher Schlemmer.

  Why:       iRobot has applied its expertise in artificial intelligence
             technology and low-cost manufacturing to develop an automatic
             floor care appliance that saves valuable personal time and
             energy, by doing the work for you.

  Price:     Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac is priced at $199.95 (SRP), and
             comes equipped with one virtual wall unit, a standard battery
             charger and removal battery pack.  Additional virtual wall
             units may be purchased at $39.95; additional batteries at
             $59.95.

  Warranty:  90-day warranty for parts and labor.

  Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac Product Specifications:
  Diameter:  13.4"
  Height:    3.6"
  Weight:    Roomba with battery 5.88lbs (2.668kg)
  Weight:    Roomba without battery 4.30lbs (1.95kg)

  Vacuum bin (6.1 cubic inches) -- vacuum debris
  Particle bin (9.2 cubic inches) -- brush debris
  Total bin space = 15.3 cu in -- total debris

  Running Time:       Between 1-11/2 hours on a single charge -- depending
                      on the floor surface.

  Loudness:           dB level during cleaning is 74.9 ~ 80.2 DB.

  Virtual Wall Unit:  Virtual Wall Unit will block open doorways up to 15'
                      to keep Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac cleaning in a
                      designated area.

  Battery:            The removable battery will power Roomba™
                      Intelligent FloorVac between 1-11/2 hours depending
                      on the floor surface being cleaned.

  Particle Bin:       Easily removed for disposal of debris -- no vacuum bag
                      to change.

  Cliff Avoidance:    Built in Cliff Avoidance Sensors detect stairs and
                      guide Roomba™ Intelligent FloorVac to turn away.

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SOURCE: iRobot Corporation

CONTACT: Nancy Dussault, iRobot Corp., +1-617-629-0055, ext. 301,
ndussault@irobot.com; or Krys Monaco, Media Strategies, +1-603-893-5360,
kmonaco@rcn.com, for iRobot Corporation