It looks like everyone's favorite, under appreciated, robotics company, Evolution Robotics
, has teamed up with a, "large appliance manufacturer" to create a competitor to iRobot's smash-hit Roomba
. The main claim-to-fame of the new soon-to-be sucker'bot is that it will be 'smarter' than the Roomba and incorporate more sophisticated navigation technology, namely Evolution's NorthStar technology
. The technology is already implemented in a vacuum robot from Sharper Image and a household robot from Yujin
Unfortunately, Evolution and every other vacuum 'bot manufacturer out there seem to think that adding more features and smarts is going to get customers to purchase, but more importantly LOVE, their products. Anyone heard of the iPod? It's simple, clean, and efficient, and they're still the hands-down winner in the vicious fight between MP3 players.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that no vacuum robot will ever overturn the Roomba until they are easier, simpler, better looking, and more efficient
than the Roomba. Customers don't want features, they want a product that they can love, and the longer the user manual, they less they love it.