Roombas will soon build a Wi-Fi coverage map while they clean

Enlarge / Roomba’s Wi-Fi map.

Roomba, the popular robotic vacuums, have a new trick up their sleeve. After learning how to map the physical space of a home a few years ago, the little robo vacs are now learning how to map the Wi-Fi coverage of a house, according to a report from TechCrunch.

As the robot roams around your house cleaning, it will now periodically log the Wi-Fi signal strength throughout the house. The data will be saved in a new Wi-Fi coverage map, which will live inside the Roomba app alongside the cleaning coverage map. Wi-Fi mapping will launch later this month as part of an app update and will mark the launch of a new beta program for the Roomba app.

Roomba won’t do upload and download speeds for the house, but it will log the signal strength in decibels, giving you a nice gradient map at the end of a cleaning cycle. The app will even point out which areas have “poor” Wi-Fi coverage, giving you a good idea of how to tweak your cool new mesh networking setup.

The report doesn’t mention any model restriction for the feature, but all of Roomba’s vacuums, save for the lowest-end model, have Wi-Fi onboard. The beta program, which will house this and other “smart home” functionality, launches January 23. For now it seems to be US only.

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