For people who don’t love vacuuming, the Roomba robot vacuum has been a godsend, unless you have a dog that likes to poop in the house. Older models have been known to go right over the poop and then spread it all over the house, but apparently the company has fixed the issue. The new Roomba j7+, which hit stores last week, has been designed to fix those problems, using artificial intelligence to give customers “even more control over their clean,” with a camera that can identify and avoid pet droppings, as well as cords. The camera will even take a picture and let you know about the feces if you aren’t at home when it’s cleaning. According to a press release, the $849 vacuum is meant to be a “thoughtful, collaborative cleaning partner” for those who want tech to better serve them. But the new Roomba doesn’t come without issues. Using such AI in a vaccum does require folks to share private information. Plus, the AI gets smarter every time it’s used, gathering info based on photos taken, allowing it to sense what it needs to avoid, and personalize it for the home. That does bring up some privacy concerns, although the company insists the vacuum recognizes pet droppings, cords and its charging base, and that's it, and doesn’t take photos if humans are within view.Also, those photos are stored on the device, not a cloud, unless you are okay with the photos being sent to the Roomba app or to iRobot. If you do share them, the images are encrypted, and only used for staffers to put in the company database to train the robot vacuums.
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