Author: Maurice Savaryego, M.Sc.Eng. (Learn More)
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Compare iRobot Roomba 980 and 960: What Are the Main Differences?
Comparing Roomba 980 and 960
Detailed Comparison of Roomba 980 and 960
The (N.#) notation used in the table refers to the clarification notes provided following the table. Please read these notes carefully in order to understand better the features that come with each Roomba.
- iAdapt 2.0 technology found on Roomba 980 and 960 is composed of sophisticated software as well as sensors, and allows these robots to clean thoroughly the room, making multiple passes, avoiding stairs, getting under and around furniture, and cleaning along wall edges and corners. Their low profile design allows cleaning under most furniture.
- Both of these robots are equipped with a visual localization camera used to map out your home in order to ensure complete coverage. It allows the robot to seamlessly and efficiently navigate an entire level of your home and keep track of its location. Roomba 960 and 980 use a high-efficiency cleaning pattern and a full suite of sensors to adapt to real world clutter and furniture for thorough coverage. They automatically adjust to all floor types - carpet, tile, hardwood, laminate and more.
- An important aspect of both of these robots is Dirt Detection. They are equipped with acoustic and optical sensors which allow the robot to find dirtier areas and spend more time cleaning them.
- Finally, note that Roomba 980 and 960 use Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers to be kept away from rooms or areas they are not supposed to enter. Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers are more effective than Virtual Walls used with other Roomba robots. Not only can they be used to block off an open doorway, but they can also be used as Virtual Wall Halos to protect some restricted area within the room, like for instance the area where the dog food might be. Please see the Roomba Navigation Control Section below for more detailed explanation of these stand alone little devices.
Both robots considered here use a 3-stage vacuuming system described below :
- They are both equipped with dual counter-rotating multi-surface tangle-free brushes (also known as debris extractors) that pick up dust, debris, dirt, pet hair from the floor. They grab and break down debris eliminating hair tangles and jams.
- They feature a spinning side brush that cleans along wall edges.
- Finally, an efficient vacuum pulls dirt and hair off the brushes (or off the debris extractors) and directs it into the bin
Thanks to the high efficiency vacuum, the air power is increased more than 5 times in these robots compared to the previous 600 and 700 series Roombas. In addition, when the Carpet Boost feature found on on Roomba 980 is activated, the air power is increased up to 10 times!
All Roomba robots, except for Roomba 980 and 960, need to be restarted after they recharge themselves at their Home Base (unless of course they had been previously scheduled to restart at a later time). Only Roomba 980 and 960 are able to resume automatically the cleaning job where it was interrupted before going to Home Base to recharge. They continue this way until the job is done and the entire level of your home is cleaned!
- When Roomba 980 and 960 are connected via Wi-Fi to your smartphone, you can use the iRobot Home App for Android and iOS to invoke remotely operations (such as cleaning, scheduling, etc.) from wherever you are, using your smartphone. Using the App, you can also see the status of cleaning jobs, and you can customize your cleaning preferences (such as setting the number of cleaning passes, choosing special edge cleaning action, etc.).
- Both Roomba 980 and 960 are compatible with Amazon Alexa. Simply ask Alexa to start, stop, or dock your robot.
Roomba 980 and 960 are equipped with AeroForce High Efficency filters that can capture 99% of allergens, pollen, and particles as small as 10 microns.
When on carpet, thanks to the Carpet Boost feature, Roomba 980 automatically increases its vacuum power to provide a deeper clean. Carpet Boost provides up to 10 times the air power produced by the previous 700 and 600 series robots by automatically increasing performance on carpet and rugs, where dust and dirt hide.
On hard surfaces, Roomba 980 reduces its vacuum power to decrease battery consumption while still delivering excellent cleaning performance. Carpet Boost feature is turned on by default and can be turned off from the App.
Both Roomba robots considered here are equipped with a side brush to clean wall edges. But Roomba 980 and 960 also feature special Final Edge Cleaning action to make sure that stubborn dirt and debris along wall edges are all removed. After these robots finish cleaning the open areas of your floor, they use the Final Edge Clean feature to ensure that they have cleaned along walls and around furniture legs. If you prefer a quicker clean, you can disable Final Edge Clean from the App. Note that this feature is turned on by default.
When the bin gets full, Roomba 980 and 960 provide you with two options regarding the action to be taken by the robot:
- Finish Job: Even if the bin is full, Roomba will continue cleaning until it has covered the entire space. Once the bin is emptied, Roomba is ready for a new cleaning job. The full bin behavior is “Finish Job” by default.
- Pause Immediately: As soon as the bin is full, Roomba will return to where it started and pause its cleaning job. Once the bin is emptied, you just need to press CLEAN to resume.
Roomba 980 and 960 are equipped with a visual localization camera that maps out more thoroughly your home in order to ensure complete coverage. It allows the robot to seamlessly and efficiently navigate an entire level of your home and keep track of its location. Note that for the camera functionality to work properly some light in the room where the robot will be vacuuming may be needed.
Counter rotating multi-surface tangle-free brushes (known also as debris extractors) found on Roomba 980 and 960 were introduced starting with 800 series Roomba robots, and they replaced the brushes found in the previous 600 series robots. They grab and break down debris, eliminating hair tangles and jams. Together with debris extractors, an airflow accelerator that creates a sealed channel that concentrates airflow, sucking in more debris was introduced.
Scheduling can be pre-set up to 7 times per week. The robot starts vacuuming as soon as the scheduled time is reached. You can use the App to do the scheduling.
Most Roomba robots will remove dirt and debris with just one pass over each area of your home. However, with Roomba 980 and 960, two-pass cleaning can be requested and can be particularly helpful in homes with pets or for periodic deep cleaning. The number of cleaning passes is one by default.
When batteries run low, both of these robots return to their Home Base to dock and recharge.
Note that both Roomba 980 and 960 are able to resume automatically the cleaning job where it was interrupted before going to Home Base to recharge. They continue this way until the job is done and the whole level of your home is cleaned.
Both Roomba robots are equipped with a Home button that can be pressed to force the robot to dock at its Home Base. These robots can also be sent to their Home Base to dock using the App. Of course, the robots will also go automatically to their Home Base when their battery runs low.
Both robots considered here can be asked to spot clean. When spot clean is invoked, the robot will spiral approximately 3 feet in diameter and then spiral back to where it started for an intense, localized clean for those quick fixes.
Note that Lithium-Ion batteries are designed to provide longer cleaning sessions than Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries and last longer before needing to be replaced.
Battery Run Times:
iRobot has specified the battery run times for the 980 and 960 robots as 120 minutes and 75 minutes respectively.
Note that for all robots (including Roomba 980 and 960) run times can vary extensively depending on the amount of work the robot has to do to clean the floors. That is because different types of carpets, different floor plans and different amounts of dirt may require different amounts of effort from the robot and hence different amounts of ''juice'' from the battery.
Roomba 980 and 960 can be remotely controlled from your smartphone or tablet using the iRobot Home App. No explicit remote control device is provided.
The "d" in the dimensions refers to the diameter, and "h" to the height of the unit. All measurements are in inches.
The 1-year limited warranty is on the robot. There is also a 6-month warranty on the battery.
Roomba Navigation Control Devices
Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers are more effective than Virtual Walls used with some of the other Roomba robots. Not only can they be used to block off an open doorway, but they can also be used as Virtual Wall Halos to protect some restricted area within the room, like for instance the area where the dog food might be.
The following table shows the number of Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers that come with each robot considered here (if needed, additional Dual Mode Virtual Wall barriers can be purchased below in the Amazon products section):
The following picture explains and illustrates how the Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier protects the off-limits areas:
So which of these two Roomba should you get?
As the above comparison table shows, the two Roomba robots considered here come with all the feaatures you will ever need. However, they present two differences:
- Roomba 980 is the only Roomba that has also the ability to boost automatically the vacuuming intensity when carpets and rugs are detected. When that happens, the overall suction power developed by the robot is twice the amount of maximum suction that can be developed by Roomba 690. That is because even though Roomba 690 can produce 5 times more suction power than the previous 700 and 600 series robots, when carpet boost is active Roomba 980 can develop 10 times more suction power than the previous 700 and 600 series robots.
- With a full battery, Roomba 980 can vacuum for about 120 minutes, while Roomba 960 can vacuum about 75 minutes.
Roomba 980 and 960 on Amazon
Please Note: Roomba 981 has the same features as Roomba 980, but was made by iRobot specially for the iRobot Amazon store.
Authentic Roomba Replenishment Kits on Amazon USA
Please click the image below to see price information or to purchase:
Additional Roomba Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier (if needed)
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