We're so glad one our last day at CES we made one last swoop around a section we were unsure whether we had covered or not, mostly because we might have missed the Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner. Strangely, despite home appliance devices becoming every bit as computerized as their home entertainment counterparts, cleaning devices are barely represented at the show, making the Mint...ahem...a refreshing device.
Yves Behar has been busy all of 2009: whether designing video game components or sex toys. Now his company Fuseproject has collaborated with Evolution Robotics, Inc to create the Mint, a new wet/dry cleaning robot which arguably outshines the Roomba in looks and performance.
The Mint booth prominently displayed two Mint floor cleaners doing their things, one using wet cloths and the other dry sweeping, methodically going over the remnants of a spilled beverage with precise movements that left one side completely clean. Unlike the Roomba, the Mint is not a vacuum, but a robotic sweep or wiping device, which uses standard wet/dry cleaning cloths for 3-4 hour stints of house care duty. So pop in a Swiffer insert (which uses a very easy to switch out magnet cartridge system), turn on the Mint, and let the square shaped minimalist cleaning device wander about with the guidance of a small infrared light beacon system.
When the charge wanes, the Mint is smart enough to return to where it began cleaning and charges upright for space saving reasons (the Mint rep mentioned they didn't include an auto-charge station like the Roomba for the sake of aesthetics and also for the fact users should remove the cleaning cloths after each session). Reps also informed us the Mint will be available later this year for under $250, so we hope to follow up with a hands-on review in coming months.