Weird new IRobots unleashed

More IRobots

From the company that brought us the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner now comes the Looj Gutter Cleaning Robot and the ConnectR Virtual Visiting Robot that allows you to remotely (and virtually) buzz around your house (albeit at carpet level) and see, hear, and say hi from afar.

The ConnectR features a top-mounted, full tilt-and-zoom video camera, speaker, microphone and headlight to enable you to see, hear and interact with people in your home. IRobot says the ConnectR will connect with wireless network at the same time allowing busy family members to connect with kids, grandchildren, friends, and pets.

Now I call that quality time - not.

The Looj Gutter Cleaner Robot features a detachable handle that doubles as a wireless remote control. Using it you control 2.25-inch high Looj as it scoots along inside your gutter (under gutter straps) and uses a three-stage auger to dislodge and sweep out dirt and leaves.

The Looj is available just in time for fall gutter-cleaning season. It's available now with prices starting at $US100 from iRobot and later in the year from select retailers.

The ConnectR robot will be available from iRobot at first only through a pilot program starting in 2007, according to the company. The company says only select participants will be given the opportunity to home test and purchase the ConnectR robot for $US199. Sale to the general public is expected in 2008 with an estimated price tag of $US500.

IRobot announced the new robotic additions here at the DigitalLife trade show in New York.

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