„Alexa, ask Roomba to start cleaning“

30/04/2019 | myRobotcenter
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“Alexa, ask Roomba to start cleaning.” And suddenly the robot hoover leaves its charging base and starts vacuuming the apartment – room after room. More and more robot vacuums are equipped with a connection to different voice services, such as Amazon Alexa. And also a lot of robot mowers can already be controlled with voice commands. 
Amazon Alexa – a voice service by Amazon
Who exactly is this Alexa, that all the world is talking about right now? Good question. This is a voice-controlled, internet-based loudspeaker. And behind this loudspeaker there is a virtual assistant, called Alexa. Users can communicate with Alexa with voice commands, ask questions and arrange duties. 
The whole thing then looks like this, for example: Once more, you overslept, jump out of bed and grab the first clothes that you can reach. But, what is the weather like today? So you just say out loud: “Alexa, what is the weather like today?” And Alexa answers charmingly: “Today, it will be sunny with up to 20 degrees in Vienna.”  Then quickly prepared a sandwich and – once more – you’re out of butter: “Alexa, add butter to my shopping list.” And when you’re finally back home after a long working day, Alexa motivates you to cook dinner with your favourite playlist: “Alexa, play my favourite songs.” 
These are only some examples of how Alexa can make our everyday-life better and a little easier. Even more interesting for us is the possibility of controlling robot hoovers with Alexa. 

Control robot hoovers with Alexa
In the first place, robot vacuums were started by pushing a button on the device itself. In the meantime, many of them have been equipped with a scheduling function or even an app-control. And a lot of these models with app-control can now also be controlled with Alexa. Once the Alexa Skill is installed, the robot can easily and comfortably be controlled with voice commands. 
Right now, all Neato Botvac Connected models and all Wi-Fi enabled iRobot Roomba models are compatible with Amazon Alexa. Furthermore, other Wi-Fi enabled robot hoovers are compatible, such as the Dyson 360 EyeXiaomi Roborock 2 and the Eufy RoboVac R550c

Controlling robot hoovers with Alexa – this is how it works:
  1. 1. Open the menu point “Skills and Games” in the Alexa-app
  2. 2. Search the brand of your robot (e.g. iRobot)
  3. 3. Choose the appropriate Skill and click on “Enable to use” 
  4. 4. Log in to your account and agree, that the Alexa-app can connect to your robot 
  5. 5. Here we go! 
In the description of the Skill you can find all recently available voice commands that you can use as of now. Find some examples below: 
  • • “Alexa, ask Neato to start cleaning.”
  • • “Alexa, ask Roomba what it is doing.”
  • • “Alexa, ask Neato where it is.”
  • • “Alexa, ask Roomba to return to its Home Base.” 
Especially useful for the new iRobot Roomba i-series: Via app, the cleaning map can be separated into different zones. These zones can also be steered for via app: “Alexa, ask Roomba to clean the kitchen.” 

NEW: Control robot mowers with Alexa
Only since a few months, even robot mowers can be controlled with voice services like Amazon Alexa: 
Wi-Fi enabled models by Worx Landroid 
All Wi-Fi enabled robot mowers by Worx Landroid can be controlled through the Alexa Skill. Available are voice commands such as “Alexa, open my robot mower and start mowing” and “Alexa, ask my robot mower about the charge level”. 
Husqvarna Automower X-series
All lawn mowing robots by Husqvarna that are equipped with the Automower Connect module, – are Wi-Fi enabled – are also Alexa enabled. Via Alexa, there are a lot of voice commands available already, like “Alexa, ask Automower to mow for four hours” or “Alexa, ask Automower to park.”

Control your robot with Alexa – useful or not?
Finally, we have also bought an Amazon Alexa so that we can test this functionality. And we have to admit that this is quite a useful thing. Even though we assume that the Alexa Skills are especially helpful for people that cannot control the robot manually due to physical conditions. 
So much for our opinion – but also your opinion counts! How do you like the function of controlling your robot via Amazon Alexa? We love to hear about it in the comments or even on Facebook.

30/04/2019 | myRobotcenter
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