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CES 2014: iRobot's New Home Cleaning Robot Scooba 450

The fleet iRobot’s home cleaning robotic assistants is continuously growing, the latest addition is newer model of its Scooba Floor Mop called the Scooba 450 which they unveiled at CES 2014.

This new intelligent cleaning robot is slightly heavier and larger than its older model, the Scooba 390. According to iRobot, it's also three times more effective at clearing dirty floors than the last model; Scooba's internal components, including the motors, brushes and fans, have all been replaced.

The Scooba's exterior should be familiar to most Roomba robot vacuum owners: It’s round and about 2.5 inches tall. Just a few buttons grace its top. The main one, in the center, begins cleaning; it's encircled by LED lights that indicate cleaning time left and status.

The information button, when pressed, talks to you aloud about the robot's status. The third button is for choosing between two cleaning cycles: either 40 minutes (roughly 300 square feet) or 20 minutes. Unlike the Roomba, though, Scooba cleans the floor continuously until the cleaning time cycle is done.

The Scooba 450's cleaning process for tile and sealed hardwood floors is very similar to the Scooba 390. It starts by sweeping up and dust and debris on the floor, then washes the floor in clean water, the whole time using iRobot’s “iAdapt” algorithm to determine the room's layout.

Next, Scooba uses its collection of brushes and squeegees to scrub, clean and suck up the excess liquid. The dirty liquid and debris collect in a tank separate from the cleaning tank, though both are housed in a removable part.

If you already own a Roomba robot vacuum, you're in luck the new Scooba 450 will work with all your Roomba virtual wall units. They're small, battery-powered devices that keep Scooba cleaning where it's supposed to and out of places it doesn't belong, like rooms with rugs.

iRobot also introduced a new “Dry Dock” charging and drying station that holds the Scooba 450 vertically and dries out the interior by running air through it. This inhibits microbial growth.

The station sells separately for $79.99 and the new Scooba 450 lists for $599 — $100 more expensive than the previous Scooba. Both are on sale on Tuesday iRobot.com.
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