iRobot is a US company which makes small household appliance robots. Unlike Robbie the robot, these are each designed to do one specific task, such Vacuuming, Floor Washing, or Pool Cleaning. The iRobot Looj Gutter Cleaning Robot is the latest (September 2007) and appears to be one of their less successful products and the least "robotic". Essentially it is a radio control tiny tractor which drives along the gutter with a flail at the front to throw the leaves out.
In 2006 I attended a talk by Professor Rodney Brooks, Director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, at the ANU in Canberra. He argues that low cost flexible robots which can be easily set up by workers (not robot experts) are becoming feasible. Robots need not be able to do everything a human can do to be useful, they can do the easy (for them) more repetitive tasks.
However, it is difficult to see the difference between the iRobot Verro 300 Pool-Cleaning Robot, for example and previous automatic pool cleaners.
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