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AT YOUR BECK AND CALL

In case opening an app was too strenuous, Alexa can now control your Roomba

By Mike Murphy

If it wasn’t already easy enough to have a robot clean your house for you, it’s about to get simpler. iRobot, the company behind the Roomba vacuums and other robot cleaners, announced today that it will integrate its app with Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant found in its Echo speakers and other devices.

Owners of iRobot’s newer 900-model Roombas will be able to sync up iRobot’s Home app to their Amazon Echoes, so instead of having to walk over to the robot and press a button, or open the app, users can now just yell across the room at their Echo, and their Roomba will dutifully being cleaning. Just shout, “Alexa, ask Roomba to begin cleaning,” and the robot will be off. While iRobot announced the integration today, it hasn’t given a specific date for when it will go live, instead saying it will be in the second quarter of this year.

When the update does go live, Roomba owners will also be able to see a map of where their robots cleaned, with a feature it’s calling, unsurprisingly, “Clean Maps.” This will allow owners incontrovertible proof to inform Roomba that it missed a spot.

Now, if only there were robots to cook you dinner, make your bed, and take out the trash that you could control with Alexa, you’d never have to lift a finger at home again. But it’s still early days for the world of home robotics.