Toshiba Announces Smarbo, a Dual CPU Roomba Killer

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.