Roomba’s latest 2-in-1 cleaners have a neat ‘swap and mop’ feature

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Amazon-owned iRobot has announced a pair of new 2-in-1 Roomba cleaners, which can both vacuum and mop the surfaces of your home.

The follow-up from last year’s Roomba Combo j7+ tweaks the formula somewhat. Instead of automatically switching between the two functionalities in a single cleaning run, the Combo j5+ and Combo i5+ models include a pair of exchangable bins.

There’s the regular ol’ Roomba dust holster and another with a water tank and a mopping pad. iRobot calls the innovation “swap and mop”.

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Although it adds an extra manual step to the process, this does promise to be an upgrade in some ways. For instance, it means the capacities of both bins can be larger now.

After completing the sweeping run, the new models will detect when it’s time to get the mop out and take a trip home to drop off the dust before requesting users switch out the bins. Even though the water bin is on board, there’ll still be enough suction to lift up any dislodged dirt.

“When it’s time to mop, just swap in the Roomba Combo bin filled with water or a compatible cleaning solution and the robot will automatically detect it’s time for a combination clean,” the company says in a press release.

“The Roomba Combo j5+ will then instantly transform into a robot vacuum that also mops, employing its Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes, Power-Lifting Suction, an Edge-Sweeping Brush and mopping pad to tackle debris, dirty footprints and dust.”

It doesn’t appear as if the mop bin offers any fancy cleaning tech beyond a mopping pad on the bottom and the key to its success might be whether it has the downward pressure required to shift some more stubborn footprints or food spills.

The Combo j5+ and Combo i5 are available to buy immediately for $799 (we’re chasing up the UK price) and $549/£699 respectively.

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