September 27, 2007 by Rachel Cericola
A few weeks ago, we ran something about iRobot’s plans for a gutter-cleaning robot when a phlegm-inducing name—the Looj. Now it’s official, and he’s got a little buddy coming along for the official announcement.
Today, iRobot gave all of the dirt on the Looj, as well as the iRobot ConnectR, the company’s first foray into virtual communication and interaction. Don’t expect to be playing (or at least winning) Checkers, but the unit can hook to any wireless network to provide VoIP-quality video and audio with a remote person. It’s like all of the love, with none of the mess.
The ConnectR features a top-mounted, full tilt-and-zoom video camera, a speaker, a microphone and a headlight to give a real-life experience.
The Looj is designed to clean an entire stretch of gutter from one location, meaning less time you need to spend on that ladder. The unit is 2.25 inches high, making it easy to get out the gunk and other debris gutters can collect.
“The future is now—and everyone can and should have a robot in their home today,” says iRobot Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Colin Angle. Everyone might Colin, especially at these prices.
The ConnectR will start a pilot program later this year; select participants will cough up $199 for the robot. When it become available next year, it will cost $500. The Looj will be available in time to stuff stockings for under $100. Check out the slideshow for pics on both products and their uses.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.
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