You already know iRobot makes little robots that can automatically vacuum your floor. But did you know they offer mopping robots too? Less famous than iRobot's Roomba line is the company's Braava series of mopping robots. The Braava jet 240, announced in March, is the latest one, and it has three modes: wet mopping, damp sweeping, and dry sweeping--and the device will automatically choose the correct mode based on which type of cleaning pad you attach. Maxing out at around 200 square feet of cleaning per day, this is a solution designed for kitchens or bathrooms.
This iRobot mop is the talk of the town when it comes to high-tech features and precision cleaning. Connect this little guy to your phone, Alexa, or Google Assistant to tell your new friend where to clean and when, you can even schedule a clean in advance. Using the Imprint Smart Mapping technology you can set up "Keep Out Zones" so you don't have your diligent cleaner wandering into rooms you know don't need attention. As the Braava cleans it will map out your home and save the information so it can specifically avoid rugs, get under furniture, and hit all the corners. Choose between Home, Clean, and Spot Clean options so your iRobot mop can tackle your needs.
The iRobot Braava jet 240 Mopping Robot tackles dirt and stains in hard-to-reach places, like under kitchen cabinets and around toilets. Just attach a Braava jet Cleaning Pad (refills are $7.99 for 10) and the robot automatically selects wet mopping, damp sweeping, or dry sweeping, based on the chosen pad. Braava jet is designed to clean hard floors only, and is not meant to clean set-in scuff & stains. Motion sensor technology and a gyroscope enable the robot to'sense' the size of the room and actually build a map. This gadget is incredibily intuitive, and can clean floors in a matter of minutes--depending on the size of the room.
Dried pools of dog drool, coffee spills, and pasta-sauce splatters can thwart even the fanciest robo vac. Instead of sucking, iRobot's automated Braava Jet 240 tackles floor gunk using water-activated cleaning pads. The Braava Jet runs on a removable lithium-ion battery, which needs an initial two-hour charge before you can send the bot off on cleaning duty. While you wait, you can also download iRobot's standalone app; it's not mandatory, but gives you access to a few custom options, like a spot cleaning mode and control over the amount of water the scrubber uses during cleaning. The bot comes with three kinds of cleaning pads: a blue one for wet mopping, an orange one for damp sweeping, and a white one for dry sweeping.
The Deebot Ozmo 601 (left) next to the iRobot Braava (right). It's funny how the path of ascendance for Chinese tech upstarts seem to always involve competing with an American product with a lower-cased "I" in its name. In the smartphone world, Huawei, Xiaomi and Vivo are ultimately competing with the iPhone more than they are against each other; and in the world of robot cleaners, Suzhou-based Ecovacs Robotics' rapid rise means its products are constantly being compared with those from Massachusetts-based iRobot. In fact, the tech website Wirecutter (a Forbes partner) last year picked from a selection of top entry-level robot cleaners and Ecovacs' Deebot N79 came out on top, with iRobot's Roomba 690 as runner-up. Ecovacs loaned me a unit to review, but since my friend has raved about her Braava 380T for months, I opted for a comparison of both models.