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iRobot introduces a tiny, floor-cleaning robot that loves small spaces

At $199, the Braava Jet is more affordable than the Roomba and perfect for hard surfaces

iRobot’s fleet of sweeping and mopping bots recently acquired a new member: the Braava Jet mopping robot. It may be the smallest player on the iRobot automated cleaning team so far, but its small size works to your advantage.

At just 6.7 inches by 7 inches, the bot is well-suited to cleaning floors in spaces that are under 200 square feet, such as kitchens and bathrooms. It moves in an efficient, algorithm-mapped pattern, dodging obstacles and sneaking behind toilets.

The jet’s Virtual Wall Mode (new technology for the company) allows users to teach the bot not to venture into rooms with carpets, or rooms where its services aren’t needed. No need to worry about it rolling down the stairs, either -- its cliff sensors keep the Jet safe from tumbles.

Wet, damp, or dry

Users can apply one of three different sweeping pads -- wet, damp, or dry -- depending on what kind of cleaning they’re looking for. The jet can sense what type of pad is on its cleaning head and will either hold off on the water or spritz just the right amount.

The type of pad the bot is wearing also dictates how many cleaning passes it makes. With wet-mopping pads, it’ll do a triple pass; damp-sweeping, a double pass; and with dry-sweeping pads, the jet will do a single pass.

The time it takes for the bot to clean an area varies based on which cleaning pad you use, but reps for the company say the bot can clean a 100 square foot area in about an hour.

In keeping with the hands-off cleaning theme, you won’t have to touch the dirty pads once the job is done -- just push a button to eject the used pads into your trash bin.

The Braava Jet is on sale now for $199 but won’t hit retail stores until April 1. It comes with a Lithium Ion battery and charger, which will keep the bot running for about an hour and a half. Replacement Jet cleaning pads are $8 for a box of ten. For those looking for a more sustainable option, $20 will get you two washable pads.

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