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Rise of the Floorbots


by George Mitsuoka
Along with perfect weather and more than 150,000 humans, robots made a strong showing at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) January 5 – 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Some highlights:



iROBOT www.irobot.com

METAPO INC. www.metapo.com

MICROROBOT USA www.ubot.co.kr

YUJIN ROBOT COMPANY www.iclebo.com

No fewer than seven new floor-cleaning robots came to CES to challenge the highly successful Roomba from iRobot. The Korean iClebo from the Yujin Robot Company claims quieter operation, better obstacle avoidance and lower cost than the Roomba. It’s available in two models differing in battery technology and run-time. The UBOT, from Microrobot USA, not only vacuums, but also scrubs and washes hard floors using a wet-cloth roll cartridge. iRobot brought its new Scooba floor mopping bot. Metapo Inc., of San Jose, California, has four models in its CleanMate 365 QQ series: the base model IR-controlled QQ-1; the self-charging QQ-2; the intelligent QQ-IN (in development) which uses FloorBotics, www.floorbotics.com, patented room mapping software; and the QQ-SE which looks like a small racecar, is more powerful, RF remote controlled, and makes racing sound effects as it cleans your floor. How cool is that?