lifestyle technology


Xiaomi launches new robot cleaner to rival Roomba

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 August, 2016, 8:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 August, 2016, 10:49pm

Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has added one more product to its growing range of smart gadgets, with a robot vacuum cleaner to rival iRobot’s Roomba.

The cleaning robot, called Mi Robot Vacuum, is being launched with a price tag of 1,699 yuan (HK$1,974) and will go on sale September 6, Xiaomi’s co-founder and vice president Liu De said at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

The Mi Robot Vacuum looks like the Roomba, a well-known US brand of autonomous vacuum but beats it on price - a similar model in the Roomba range costs 5,699 yuan on Chinese e-commerce websites.

By giving the product high-end specifications and an affordable price, Xiaomi is applying the same strategy it takes in selling smartphones.

Liu said the vacuum robot boasts two technologies - a laser distance sensor and simultaneous localization and mapping – that allow the robot to scan its surroundings, map the layout of a room and calculate the best cleaning path.

The vacuum cleaner is powered by a 5,200 mAh battery which Xiaomi claims is enough for up to 2.5 hours of use per charge - enough to clean a room measuring 250 square meters.

“The technology to calculate the best cleaning path is a breakthrough in the domestic market, and that can compete with international robot vacuum cleaner makers,” said Liu.

The Mi Robot Vacuum is the latest addition to Xiaomi’s expanding array of smart gadgets, which include water filters, air filters and rice cookers. All the gadgets can be controlled with a single mobile application, Mijia, which literally translates as “Xiaomi smart home”.

Liu said the company has already launched 37 smart products, and a total of 40 million gadgets have been connected under the Mijia app.

“These products are tools for users to make their smart living,” he said.