Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

New Electrolux Trilobite 2.0 Vacuum Robot 159

i4u writes "The first version of the Electrolux expensive vacuum robot was launched last May. Electrolux announced the new metallic green Trilobite 2.0 on their Swedish site. The Electrolux Trilobite 2.0 is programmable like a VCR, it also recognises stairs and offers smarter cleaning. Electrolux has carried out 200 improvements. Photos on I4U." And at this rate, perhaps MkIII will be out next spring.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Electrolux Trilobite 2.0 Vacuum Robot

Comments Filter:
  • Wanna play Trilobite yourself?
    This was my first (and last) Java Applet. JRE 1.4.1 required: Have fun :) [alphard.ethz.ch]
    Well, I didn't elaborate the applet as far as I wanted, but it was fun learning Java/GUI programming and fundamentals of path finding (A*) at the same time.
    • I found a bug (or inconsistency) with the applet. The FSM and A* Path Finding Comparable both stop running the simulation when they find all the dust, however the A* Path Finding Incomparable stops only when the entire room has been covered. Makes it a bit harder to compare all three types.
  • Typo in headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mmm_pickles ( 624458 ) <john@nh[ ]com ['oj.' in gap]> on Saturday May 29, 2004 @03:07PM (#9286220) Homepage Journal
    It's, "Electrolux," not "Elextrolux."

  • if only it could learn how to avoid me stumbling on it every other day
  • by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Saturday May 29, 2004 @03:09PM (#9286228)
    They wasted their time then. There are only 6 people in the world capable of programming it to do what they want.
  • by Roland Piquepaille ( 780675 ) on Saturday May 29, 2004 @03:09PM (#9286230)
    the Electrolux Trilobite 2.0 is programmable like a VCR

    Does it mean I'll have to fiddle with a 8 x 7-segment green display, a bunch of buttons and knobs, and a manual written in engrish?
  • Roomba Army (Score:5, Funny)

    by challahc ( 745267 ) on Saturday May 29, 2004 @03:12PM (#9286243)
    Unless Amazon's Trilobite Price-tag of $1,799.99 is a typo (which it is not), why is this robot 10 times more expensive than the Roomba ($159.99) ?

    I think I would just buy 10 Roombas. Then I would have the added benefit of racing/fighting them.

    • Perhaps it's more expensive because, like on that TV commercial, you can program it to eat your date's clothes.
    • by Eros ( 6631 )
      For that price it better suck something other than carpet.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        funny that's exactly what I said about my wife's prostitute.
    • Re:Roomba Army (Score:4, Informative)

      by lakeland ( 218447 ) <lakeland@acm.org> on Saturday May 29, 2004 @06:34PM (#9287117) Homepage
      Er, because robot is useful and the roomba sucks. And I don't mean that in a good way ;-)

      The Roomba just goes around in increasing circles and copes really badly with anything like furniture. (Excercise: See if you can work out its algorithm; hint: It doesn't need any internal state ala Brooks). Unless your room is approximately square or circular with gaps around the furniture, you can forget about it. Roomba needs far too much supervision, you (almost) may as well do the job yourself.

      More useful are robots which can be programmed with a map. These can cope with pretty much any room, but you better not move your desk without telling them or the poor robot will get confused and go sulk in a corner.

      Far more useful are the robots which build a map of their environment as they go because they can be turned on and left. I believe this robot fits into that category (though it isn't the first).

      Forget for a moment you doing the vacuuming at home (or your mum doing it ;-) and instead consider a large office which currently employs cleaners to come in and clean/vacuum every day. How much do you think this costs? Say they spend one hour vacuuming per floor, at perhaps $10/hr, a five floor office costs $50/day. And note that while they may be paid only $10 or less per hour, the cleaning company almost certainly charges them out at more (profit + wear and tear on machinery + uniform + admin). The robot at $1800 will take about a month to pay for itself -- suddenly the price sounds reasonable, no? Of course, the building still needs cleaners for other tasks, but if just the vacuuming was taking an hour... Certain local politicians forgot that here with 'self cleaning' toilets, but I digress...

      As to your idea of fighting roombas. Remember that algorithm I got you to work out at the start? It ain't going to make very good fights, is it?
  • by PhrostyMcByte ( 589271 ) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Saturday May 29, 2004 @03:12PM (#9286245) Homepage
    After looking it seems the only differences from the Roomba is ultrasonic sight instead of bumpers, and a price tag an order of magnitude higher (Roomba == $160, Trilobite 2.0 == $1800).

    I guess the sonic thing is a more geekish way to go about things, but is it really more effective than bumpers? Is it worth the massive price tag?
    • by aberkvam ( 109205 ) <aberkvam@NOspam.berque.com> on Saturday May 29, 2004 @03:25PM (#9286297) Homepage
      The I4U article points out another difference. "The Trilobite can recharge itself. The robot finds its way back to the charging station and automatically docks-on." That takes care of something that always bothered me about the Roomba but it's not $1640 worth of cool...
      • The roomba is also made as cheaply as possible (out of complete crap) and is highly likely to fail. Also, IIRC the roomba doesn't learn, it's about as sophisticated as one of those cars that has bumpers on the front and back and reverses when it hits something. I thought this thing was supposed to be smart enough to build a map of the room and figure out about where it is. Ah yes, I am quite right, from the swedish site (but the english page):

        The machine cleans first along the walls and then all open area

      • Its far more than that -- as I've learned, the Roomba is not a replacement to a good weekly hand cleaning.

        The Roomba is a GREAT device, but its not a vacuum cleaner like most of use are use to...or maybe we are -- this is slashdot :-) Its intended for light cleaning and otherwise -- I generally have to change the dust collector at least 2 or 3 times a cleaning (and probably more if I was actually paying attention) because it gets clogged with cat fur pretty readily (as well as pizza and other geek goodies
        • (I believe the roomba doesn't actually suction anything -- it just pulls the stuff in from its brushes -- I could be wrong as I've never stuck my face up to it)

          The Roomba does vacuum, albeit not as well as a REAL vacuum cleaner. It's about the equivalent of a DustBuster.

    • You're also paying for the Electrolux name with the Trilobite - they make some high-end vaccums, you know...
    • I imagine they're trying to recoup research costs. As pointed out, it can find its charger station on its own. This requires the ability to map and localize within that map.

      Doing that has been the focus (and still is!) of robotics research for almost 20 years now. Sonars are tricky to do it (I'd prefer a laser, but a decent laser scanner costs much more than the trilobyte..), but you can with a bit of computation. The hardware requirements for that probably drive up the cost too, as roomba has very lit
    • It's a different market. How much does it cost to employ cleaners to vacuum the floors of an office?

      Though for 1000 I'd want wireless with it reporting it's progress and building a map of the areas it's vacuumed back to a server as well.

    • The Trilobite can vacuum around a glass of water (or other beverage) on the floor, whereas the Roomba will mostly just drive over it.

      It is debateable whether this is an important feature. Some other aspects of the Trilobite may be less subjective: the Trilobite can recharge itself. The Trilobite is about 5kg; the Roomba is about half the weight at 2.7kg. In my experience with regular, upright vacuum cleaners, heavier generally reflects more power and sturdier construction.

      Other than that, both sites

    • The roomba is not a vaccum cleaner. It's a kind of mechanical broom sweeper.

      On the other hand, the Tribolite is a true vaccum cleaner, working by aspiration.

      It explains the big difference.
  • by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Saturday May 29, 2004 @03:13PM (#9286248)
    1800 US is a big whack of change to pay for a vacuum cleaner. I dont mind vacuuming and it only takes 10 mins to do the house so I think I will stick with the manual version for the time being.
    • For 1800 bucks you could pay someone to do alot of cleaning for you!

      James
      • For 1800 bucks you could pay someone to do alot of cleaning for you!

        Dang straight! I pay someone to clean my house once a month for $50 each time. I'd need to have a Triolobite for three years (plus find someone to clean my bathrooms and kitchen for free) just to break even. Nice toy, but I'm sticking with my Roomba.

    • 1800 US is a big whack of change to pay for a vacuum cleaner.

      Actually it's not for a high-end vacuum cleaner that will really do the job and will last for more than a couple of years. That's about the ballpark for something like a FilterQueen, for example. (Whether that's worth it is another question, of course.)

      On the other hand, given likely advances in cybernetics, you may not care if the thing lasts long enough to bequeath to your grandkids.
  • by thparker ( 717240 ) on Saturday May 29, 2004 @03:14PM (#9286249) Homepage
    The headline on the site reads "First self-propelled vacuum now in stores." I've had my Roomba for about a year, and it had already been around for awhile.

    I'm always put off by products where the first promo description I read is totally untrue.
    • The first prototype was presented to the public in 1997 on the BBC TV program "Tomorrow's World." The Trilobite, which will be on the market in a couple of weeks, has extensive research and development behind it.

      They could be talking about this. Although I don't know much about the history of the Roomba. It still could have been first.

    • I think the meant the part where the trilobite can be programmed to work in specific hours and find it's way back to the charger, so you don't have to program it every time.
      • I think they meant the part where the trilobite can be programmed to work in specific hours and find it's way back to the charger, so you don't have to program it every time.

        If that's the case, then they're illiterate. "Self-propelled" means something else entirely.

  • "The Electrolux Trilobite 2.0 is programmable like a VCR" Aww jeez, I'm screwed. What about those of us who are better shellcoders than VCR programmers?
  • a problem (Score:5, Funny)

    by mrsev ( 664367 ) <mrsev AT spymac DOT com> on Saturday May 29, 2004 @03:17PM (#9286260)
    How the hell does it know what to hoover up and what not to?
    I mean I a messy person and a bit lazy so this would be ideal for me. BUT if it is going to suck up all my money and keys and socks (that I store on the floor) then that would "suck"!
    • I a messy person and a bit lazy so this would be ideal for me. BUT if it is going to suck up all my money and keys and socks (that I store on the floor) then that would "suck"!

      Well if you pay a maid to do it, he/she will suck up even more of your money.
    • Re:a problem (Score:2, Informative)

      by canavan ( 14778 )
      Maybe you should invest in a closet, probably something with drawers (and actually use it!) before forking over 2 grand for a vacuum cleaner. But seriously, the manual for the old, red trilobite explicitly warned the user not to leave stuff they had rather not sucked up on the ground.
      • Only geeks read instruction manuals for home appliances.

        Oh, right... This is slashdot.

        • I actually read the manual to decide wether or not to buy one. Since when is trying to make an informed decision geeky? I'd say, considering the price of this thing, anything else is just plain supid.

          And by the way, I want one.
    • a feature (Score:3, Funny)

      by apankrat ( 314147 )
      If it is going to suck up all my money and keys...

      At least you'll know where to find them.
  • by JessLeah ( 625838 ) * on Saturday May 29, 2004 @03:17PM (#9286261)
    OK. So they move independently. Is that all that's necessary for a "robot"? So, like, if I rigged up a remote control car to drive mindlessly back and forth, back and forth all day, is it now a "robot"?

    Where is the dividing line between "automatic mechanized device" and "robot"?
    • Well, this is in the dictionary:

      robot, n: a mechanism that can move automatically.

      So I guess there is no line ;)
    • btw, im a researcher in an intelligent robotics lab...

      The trilobyte is probably the closest thing to the autonomous research robots I work with, thats really aimed at the consumer (albeit, the wealthy consumer...). From my understanding, trilobyte uses sonars for navigation and has internal mapping and localization. Those are necessary for it to find its charger base automatically, but it also can make cleaning faster and more efficient than say, roomba's spiralling and wall following algorithms.

      Its kin
  • Okay, so it's ten times more expensive than the Roomba. Let's just hope it isn't ten times as competent [sluggy.com], or human-kind could be in a world of trouble [sluggy.com].
  • Another device to aid the terminally lazy, I'm sure the few minutes of minor exercise saved by this device will be well used to perform such important tasks as "eating", "programming perl" and "reading slashdot".
    Well, it's your heart attack, I'm just the guy whos taxes pay for your heart bypass at 52.
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday May 29, 2004 @03:22PM (#9286285) Journal
    I don't think it is wise to name a product after an extinct critter. Would you buy a PC called the "Dinosaur 99"?
  • by slyxter ( 609602 ) on Saturday May 29, 2004 @03:22PM (#9286286) Homepage
    I would love to see one of these crossed with one of those lawnmower robots. It could vaccum your house, then go outside to mow the lawn. Maybe it could sit by your front door at night and bark menacingly like a hungry pitbull when it's built-in motion sensor was tripped. Then I would buy one.
    And if it could fetch a beer from the fridge... I would buy two.
  • I've started Roomba Wars: Episode I [dylangreene.com]... Somebody want to "lend" me an Electrolux so I can continue the story?
  • I'm afraid of these things... what if I happen to like drinking Pepsi?
  • Having owned a Roomba (the much cheaper, competing product from USA) for some time, I can only say that the next big thing will be a robotic floorwasher :-)
  • Nothing bites like a Trilobite.

    Let's hope they choose a different ad company other than the one that gave us "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux."

    And it's true, Electroluxes do suck, but in a good way.

    One of at least two times I can think of where sucking is a good thing.

  • I can now program my vacuum cleaner to follow my cats and kids around and vac up everything that they drop in their wake. Considering the sheer amount of flotsam they leave, 1800 $US is money well spent. Trilobite here I come!
  • floors? (Score:2, Funny)

    by DoctorDeath ( 774634 )
    but it doesn't do windows...
    • but it doesn't do windows...

      No, that requires more extensive suckage, which would drain the batteries too fast.

    • Am I confused or what: Isn't it common knowledge that Windows sucks? Why would you need to vacuum an OS anyway -- that's why the gods made fdisk.

      Sheesh-o-rama!

    • Forget windows! It doesn't even do CORNERS!

      Doesn't anyone realize that the 2 most popular robotic vacuums are ROUND?
  • 10x's the price of a Roomba may be a bit steep, but this thing can automatically recharge itself, and keep sweeping.
    If it could empty itself too, it'd almost be worth the price (especially for places like restaurants and such).
  • Wasn't the Electrolux the name of the thing in Who Frammed Roger Rabbit?

  • My Roomba is already a better robot then it is a vacum cleaner. They should put more effort into improving the cleaning ability then on fancy robotics.
  • by chrysalis ( 50680 ) on Saturday May 29, 2004 @04:46PM (#9286700) Homepage
    This robot is funny, but it lacks a critical feature : the ability to use it... as a normal vaccum.

    AFAIK there is no way to plug a pipe and a brush onto it in order to manually vacuum.

    So this robot can vacuum the floor, but nothing else. You need a second vacuum for the rest.

    • by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Saturday May 29, 2004 @05:08PM (#9286792) Homepage
      This robot is funny, but it lacks a critical feature : the ability to use it... as a normal vaccum. AFAIK there is no way to plug a pipe and a brush onto it in order to manually vacuum. So this robot can vacuum the floor, but nothing else. You need a second vacuum for the rest.

      You make a very important point. They've stuck themselves into an awkward position. The Trilobite is too expensive to market as an additional vacuum cleaner, but its feature set is too limited to actually be a vacuum replacement. The Roomba is aimed at an actual defined market niche: it's an inexpensive automated floor sweeper/vacuum intended for periodic use between regular vacuumings.

      • This is not true. I've discussed the mobility limitations of the old trilobite with the german support people of electrolux, and they very clearly stated that the trilobite can not replace a conventional vacuum cleaner, although this was not at all part of my original question. They also forwarded me a PDF of the manual, which I found rather interesting. All the marketing materials for the Trilobite that I have read so far define it as just the same as you describe the roomba - an addition to a conventional
        • This is not true. I've discussed the mobility limitations of the old trilobite with the german support people of electrolux, and they very clearly stated that the trilobite can not replace a conventional vacuum cleaner,

          Actually, my only point was that its price will likely position it as a vacuum replacement in the minds of potential buyers. When people find out it's not, aren't they likely to say "1000 euros for a carpet sweeper and I will still have to vacuum? forget it!"

  • It has better features than the roomba or the trilobite. Like a base station which empties the dustbin. The unit keeps cleaning until it's covered your entire house and finds its way back to the base station every hour to empty itself and recharge before continuing where it left off.

    robocleaner [robocleaner.de] CTV review of the robocleaner [www.ctv.ca]

  • The 1.0 came out in 2001, in Northern Europe at least. We've had one for years and we love it - it's kinda cool to live with a robotic household member.

    At this rate, 3.0 might be available in 2007.

    J
  • To do an entire house, from top to bottom, including stairwells (as long as all bedroom doors are open) would be _REALLY_ nice.

  • New!! Low cost alternative: Teaches you to appreciate and even enjoy dirty floors.
  • If you're in Stockholm and interested in the construction of the this robot check out the Swedish Technical Museum [tekniskamuseet.se] (No English web page). 6 months ago it had a room sized display with English description showing how the vacuum cleaner was designed and built. There was also a very cool display on robots in general with dozens of different working robots and hundreds of toys. A fun museum for geeks.

    ---

    It's wrong that an intellectual property creator should not be rewarded for their work.
    It's equally w

  • Nothing sucks like an Electrolux. :)
  • I wonder if this robot will pack up and move to Mexico to save a few bucks a year...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Bonc,

    ...Bonc,

    ......Bonc,

    .........Bonc,

    ............Bonc... Bleep. Stairs


    Ok

    And so, this is for passing thru the lameness lame filter.

  • ... The line from the press release: The Trilobite 2.0 is programmable. Just as a VCR can be set to start up at a specific time on a certain day .. would be the giveaway. Instead, it just tells me that the return rate on these things will be high.
  • Maybe the cost difference is that the Electrolux Trilobite 2.0 can actually clean a carpet beneath the surface. I've seen the roomba in action in stores, and it only cleans the top of the carpet -- who cares! This doesn't mean you have a clean carpet. I will only spend the money on one of these things if it does the following: i. Contains on or two brushes that LIFT the carpet similar to how *most uprights do. ii. Provide similar cleaning/sucking power as a 12amp Hoover. What I saw from the Roomba is not

...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

Working...