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Apparently, they are adding arms to Roombas and everything’s fine, totally fine

Definitely not the start of The Matrix.

irobot roomba with arms
Image: KnowTechie

iRobot’s robotic vacuum cleaner Roomba is going to no longer be taking care of rugs. Instead, it will be literally reaching for other tasks around the house.

In classic cartoon The Jetsons, the titular family has a robotic maid named Rosey who does every kind of cleaning task George Jetson asks her (it?) to do. References to cartoons aside, it appears iRobot is going in that direction, but not with cartoon hijinks.

Colin Angle, the Co-Founder and CEO of the Massachusetts-based company, spoke with Bloomberg about the plans to add appendages to Roombas. The arms will be used for grabbing dirty dishes at the dinner table or picking up clothes for the laundry basket.

iRobot is working on putting arms on the Roombas to assist in a variety of household chores

At this year’s CES, Angle said that the company has been experimenting with the idea for a while. In fact, the company’s military wing was developing robotic arm technology. Even after they sold that part of their business, iRobot continued to develop this specific type of robotics. For quite a long time, iRobot had trouble figuring out what to do with the arms.

At the time, the company didn’t know how to adapt the technology for mainstream use. But new advancements in computer vision and the ability for robots to map out a person’s home make such devices possible.

While the addition of arms to robots is certainly interesting, Angle says that it won’t come to the public “within the next five years.” The armed Roombas are still in their development phase in the company’s offices.

What do you think? Want to see Roombas with arms? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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