IRobot introduces a gutter-cleaning robot at DigitalLife -- just in time for fall leaf-raking season.

K.C. Jones, Contributor

October 1, 2007

1 Min Read

Roomba inventor iRobot has come up with another robot to help humans avoid dull home chores.

The company showed off its iRobot Looj at DigitalLife last week. The robot cleans gutters and reduces the amount of time spent climbing and moving ladders. CEO Colin Angle unveiled the bot as part of a new line of home robots.

"I'm here to demystify the notion that robots in the home are a promise of tomorrow," he said during a keynote address at DigitalLife. "Today iRobot is delivering to customers practical home robots that are affordable, effective, and easy to use. The future is now -- and everyone can and should have a robot in their home today."

The 2.25-inch-tall Looj drives under gutter straps. It is propelled by a three-stage auger that dislodges and sweeps out dirt, leaves, and other debris. It has a detachable handle, which doubles as a wireless remote control. It cleans an entire stretch of gutter from one location, reducing the number of times a ladder must be repositioned and climbed during gutter cleaning.

It is available immediately, with a starting price of less than $100, through iRobot's Web site and select retailers.

In August, iRobot announced a Roomba with a "higher IQ." It can now free itself from jams, and extricate itself from tangled wires. The upgraded vacuuming robot is equipped with a light-touch intelligent sensing system that detects when Roomba is approaching an obstacle. The robot slows down automatically when necessary. Wireless technology tells the robots when they have finished cleaning one room and should go clean the next one. The Looj relies on remote controls and users for direction.

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