It appears that the latest from iRobot - the Scooba, a floor-mopping robot - will be available for purchase online in November and should be in retail stores in early 2006. I’m actually pretty stoked. I have a Roomba (their vacuuming robot) and feel like it was definitely $200 well spent.
For $399, you’ll get the Scooba, some cleaning solution, a measuring cup, a battery, a battery charger, a virtual wall, and what appears to be an AC adapter of some nature (probably to charge the Scooba while the battery’s still in it).
The virtual walls used by Scooba look different than the ones used by Roomba - they look more like the new scheduling walls, actually. I’m curious if the virtual walls with Scooba are compatible with the Roomba walls or if I’m going to have to buy a bunch of Scooba walls, too.
Scooba doesn’t come with a “home base” the way Roomba does (or, at least, some Roomba models), and the batteries look different. One of the things I like about Roomba is that when it’s done, it goes home to charge up. I can’t tell if Scooba has that ability or not. It almost certainly doesn’t out of the box, as it doesn’t come with the requisite charging station, only manual chargers.
None of that really deters me, though - it’s the $400 price tag that’s got me. $200 was the perfect price for Roomba (admittedly, that was with a 20% off coupon at Bed Bath and Beyond). I’m just not sure about Scooba for double the price. I’d have to see it in action in person, or at least hear from someone who has one.
I’ll have to think about it. I do have some 20% off coupons burning a hole in my pocket, and $320 is a lot better than $400…