With Roomba being the household name that it is, it can be easy to forget that iRobot also makes robots of the outdoor persuasion. In fact, though, the company's been selling its Looj gutter-cleaning bots for five years now, occasionally treating us to demos involving leaves, dirt and fake roofs. Today the company announced the third-generation model, the Looj 330, which has been completely re-tooled to add a four-stage auger, multiple speed settings, an automated "Clean" mode and a lithium-ion battery. It's also a bit more compact this time around, increasing the likelihood it'll fit your gutter.
Meanwhile, for those of you who can't bring yourselves to spend $700 on a robotic vacuum cleaner, iRobot is adding some entry-level models to its Roomba lineup: the 620, 630 and 650. Though these cost about half the price of the flagship offerings, they actually feature many of the same technologies, including iAdapt, the sensor arrangement that allows Roomba to crisscross the floor like it does. Here, though, the cosmetic design is different, and you also won't find bells and whistles like capacitive touchscreens or fine Hepa filters. What's more, these guys only use acoustic sensors to detect debris, whereas the pricier models add optical sensors to pick up on lighter particles, like fuzz.
All of these products are available now, with the Looj 330 going for $299 and the Roomba 600 series starting at $330. Not in the market for a cleaning bot? You can at least get a vicarious thrill out of our Luge hands-on video, embedded after the break for your viewing pleasure. And yes, those are Goldfish and m&m's flying out of that gutter. It rains snack food here in New York City.