Toshiba Announces Smarbo, a Dual CPU Roomba Killer

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News Posted: Wed, Aug 24 2011 11:39 AM
There aren't many competitions where the one that sucks the best is considered the winner, and even less that are fit for print on a family friendly technology website. But we're talking about vacuums here, so we're in the clear. We know that's going to disappoint some of you who were hoping for...something else, but get over it and read on, because Toshiba's Smarbo is one cool piece of tech.

Details are a little fuzzy since we're going off a translated press release written in Japanese, but what's crystal clear is Toshiba's Smarbo is a self-propelled vacuum cleaner similar in style to the popular Roomba robot, only Toshiba's version wields two CPUs. That gives the Smarbo double the brain power, which it will use to process information from 38 embedded sensors and a built-in camera. The upshot, according to Toshiba, is that the Smarbo is far less likely to keep going over the same area, and it's supposed to be very good at avoiding obstacles and from driving itself down a flight of steps.

The Smarbo boasts four cleaning modes, including Auto, Spot, Careful, and Manual. It takes about 90 minutes to clean a 100 square meter room, after which the Smarbo will return to its charging station. Look for the Smarbo with remote control to launch in Japan in early October for around $1,175. Old Glory Insurance against robot attacks optional.
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Obsurd replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 11:48 AM

never felt so attracted to a vacuum

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RTietjens replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 12:28 PM

Since the basic Roomba is around $100, once could buy ten Roombas and pocket the difference, rather than get one Smarbo (which is an ugly-sounding word, by the way - sounds like "smarmy").

So five times the processor power of the Smarbo, and ten times the cleaning capacity, for less money.

Smarbo loses.

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realneil replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 8:11 PM

That's an expensive son of a gun and no way is it worth that kind of money. Not now, not ever.

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

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I agree way too much money for the unit though the tech is cool. Though I seem to remember the Roomba being relatively expensive when it first came out as well.

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Inspector replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 9:49 PM

Ya... price, no where near what i will ever pay for this.

Rich people! :D

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AKwyn replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 10:02 PM

I can just imagine the Smarbo saying to the Roomba "HaHa, I'm smarter then you are!".

In all seriousness, it's too expensive and unless the price comes down I don't think anybody will be interested in a smarter Roomba with two processors.


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