Robot burglars better not get any ideas.
The maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum, iRobot, wants to start selling mapped floor plans of customers’ homes to Google, Amazon and Apple, the company said Tuesday.
The privacy-invading plan will help other smart home devices operate more efficiently using movement data collected by the circular cleaning gadget, CEO Colin Angle told Reuters.
“There’s an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared,” Angle said.
The home layout data will likely include info on the location of everything from lamps to home security cameras and thermostats, according to the firm.
But the thought of a robot collecting such sensitive info pushed some customers’ buttons.
“Your friendly little Roomba could soon become a creepy little spy,” one Twitter user slammed.
Others feared the data could be hacked.
“Wow. Who knew that the Roomba was mapping your house?” another customer, Jennifer Grygiel, tweeted in a huff.
Roombas have been been on the market since 2002 and have been been mapping homes using a camera and sensors since 2015.
The company assured users the gadgets wouldn’t sell house layout data without asking first.
“We will always ask your permission to even store map data. Right now, iRobot is building maps to enable the Roomba to efficiently and effectively clean your home,” the company told CNET in a statement.
“In the future, with your permission, this information will enable the smart home and the devices within it to work better. For example, in order for the lights to turn on when you walk into a room, the home must know what lights are in which rooms,” the company said.
iRobot became compatible with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant in March and could reach a deal to sell its maps in the next couple of years, Angle said.
Investors love the plan, which has sent iRobot’s stock soaring from $35 a…