iRobot’s been talking a lot about its plans to make the Roomba an essential part of the connected home. The process has been a bit slow going — the company added WiFi connectivity in 2015 and Alexa functionality this year — but it’s getting there, slowly but surely. Today, the world’s best selling robotic vacuum takes another important step with the addition of IFTTT functionality.
The addition of the automation service brings a lot of potential functionality to WiFi connected models. As of this writing, there are 11 applets available for Roomba, ranging from the useful (“when I leave home, start a cleaning job” and “when I answer a call, pause Roomba”) to the socially annoying (“post a Tweet when Roomba finishes a cleaning job”).
iRobot’s suggest some other potentially useful applications here as well, like triggering Roomba to do extra cleaning when a weather service detects a high pollen count. Though that one’s not in the applet store yet. More will no doubt be added as word of the functionality spreads, though, if the company’s Twitter feed is any indication, they’ll largely revolve around babies and cute animals (give the people what they want).
Roomba now has a good chunk of smart home services covered — in addition to Alexa, the company added Google Assistant integration back in May. Ultimately, mapping is the biggest piece of the smart home puzzle for iRobot. CEO Colin Angle has discussed his plans to make Roomba a sort of connective tissue, helping identify the location of various devices in different parts of the home.
Though the company did get into a bit of hot water earlier this year, over suggestions that it planned to sell mapping data to third-parties. Angle later clarified the comments in a statement to TechCrunch.