Drunk Roomba? Software update makes some robot vacuums 'dumb'

Roombas have been seen spinning around, slamming into furniture, driving around in weird patterns and getting stuck in the middle of a room. In a word, they're drunk

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Has your Roomba been acting strangely? Does it seem drunk?

It turns out that a recent software update has caused some i7 and s9 models of the robot vacuums to behave erratically — and it could take awhile to fix.

According to a post on Reddit, Roombas have been spotted spinning around, slamming into furniture, driving around in weird patterns and getting stuck in the middle of a room. There are also reports of Roombas taking extra-long to clean a room and having trouble charging.

“What’s up with the 3.12.8 release?” tweeted Anthony Virtuoso, a principal software engineer for Amazon Web Services. “These robots looks drunk since the update. Mounting complaints in the forums continue. Some folks who were rolled back got rolled forward and the issues came back. HELP!”

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The company that makes Roombas, iRobot, confirmed the software issue in a statement sent to USA Today, and said it only affects a “limited number” of models.

“We’ve worked with impacted customers to roll their robot’s software back, and we are also implementing an update to ensure any similar issues are avoided moving forward,” iRobot said.

The update will be rolled out over the next few weeks, the company said.

Some customers have complained of poor customer service, saying the company has taken too long to acknowledge the problem, and too long to fix it. One Reddit user said they have been waiting two and a half weeks for the company to fix their Roomba. Others say the issue persisted even after the software update.

Reddit user Defender90rover wrote that their s9 Roomba was rolled back to a previous software update and it’s still “getting dumber by the day.”

The issue was raised a month ago by Reddit user LukeEvansSimon, who posted a time-lapse of an i7 Roomba spinning around its dock. The user noted that after 15 minutes of trying to dock so it could recharge, the Roomba ran out of battery.

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