Sunday, January 11, 2009

ConnectR Project Canceled




















On January 9, iRobot sent a letter to all of their ConnectR project enthusiasts to notify them that the virtual visiting robot was canceled. iRobot has found out, through a year of beta testing, that the ConnectR in its current form needed enhancements and modifications to meet customer expectations for virtual visiting. iRobot will focus on developing a new virtual visiting robot that will include customer feedback (Read Nov 17, 2008 post).

Though it is sad to know that the ConnectR robot project was canceled it was obvious from its very beginning that it was failure due to issues as iRobot wanted to charge monthly session fees for the virtual visiting, the cost of the robot was over US$500, low definition camera, no session encryption, manual remote control of the robot, etc. After iRobot looked at its competitors like the Rovio and Spykee they decided to get back to the drawing board and give it another try. Hope that this time around iRobot has a great product to offer the consumer that will be practical, easy to use and with many implemented features that robot beta testers requested.

2 comments:

Amateur Roboticist #5 said...

I do not quite understand why the iRobot folks chose the Roomba platform to implement a telepresence product. And from the looks of the design of the lawn mower product, they seem to be stuck on that chassis.

Maybe I have high expectations but, I expected iRobot home robots to have evolved more quickly than it has ...

The Samsung Hauzen VC-RE70V Robot Vacuum Cleaner should be a wake-up call.

What is the latest on Dyson's efforts to market it's version of a home robot vacuum cleaner?

This is a great blog!

Nikolai Tesla said...

Hello and Welcome to Domesro.com!

I agree with your observations of iRobot's designs. That is one of the many reasons as to why they pulled the plug from the ConnectR project. They are actually working on something to replace it and have some designs that step away from their mold but its up to them to get out of their cookie cutter Roomba design that is already 7 years old.

Actually the Samsung Hauzen VC-RE70V borrows some general design from the Roomba, what makes Samsung's cleaning robot stand out is the use of room mapping technologies to get the job done more efficiently.

Dyson is a perfectionist and believes that he will not market a device that will not meet his high bar standards. At the moment there are some rumors going around that they have hired or are hiring robot engineers but that was 2 years ago (http://www.newscientist.com/blog/technology/2007/03/dyson-preparing-roomba-killer.html) but we may never know until it comes out, maybe CES 2010?!

Thanks for the kudos!