c|net | Robot uses minesweeping technology to clean rugs

Burlington, Mass.-based iRobot came out with a new line of robotic vacuum cleaners Monday that, according to the company, feature longer battery life, overall improved performance and an ability to detect dirt.

When the robot drives across a particularly dirty patch of carpet or floor, sensors begin to “listen” to dirt through a vibration detector. The navigation system then steers the robot in circles in the area to eradicate all of the vibration anomalies, at which point the robot resumes its normal course.