Robot Invasion: A New Wave of Roomba Alternatives

When we first saw the Roomba on late night television, we thought it was some kind of infommercial joke. A few years on, the joke is on us, with the Roomba leading the trend in robotic home cleaning. The Roomba seems to have hit a nerve for those who hate vacuuming, helping keep housekeeping duties with minimum effort, especially for large spaces. As reported earlier from CES 2011, it looks like the Roomba has some serious competition from various manufacturers looking to take Roomba's crown...

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1. Samsung TangoView: This is the Tango robot vacuum from Samsung. Equipped with a built-in camera, the vacuum can also serve as a security device. It's wi-fi connected, so users can check out the feed from the camera via smart phone, laptop or tablet. It even has a microphone and external lighting, but all these features come at a price: $700!

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2. LG Hom-Bot: Just like the TangoView, the Hom-Bot is a wi-fi networked robot vacuum that has a video camera. It will even be able to feed your pets, via an automatic food dispenser. It comes with IR and ultrasound sensors to map your place and the 7.7lbs device can work across both smooth and carpeted surfaces.

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3. Chinavision G182: This robot vacuum also has a cam, but it's more conspicuous than the models above. Still, it will get the job done and you'll still be able to see what's going on.

4. MSI's Robot Vacuums: The different MSI robot vacuums have similar features to the TangoView and the Hom-Bot. The more advanced models, which retail for $600, are also wi-fi enabled and come with a camera.

5. Samsung Tango: If you don't need a cam shown above, then Samsung's Tango is a a more affordable option. The Tango Stealth is supposed to be the quietest of the bunch, with 13 sensors, including a 30fps camera and a crash sensor that sends out 26 to 6000 bursts, keeping the robot vacuum on course.