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CES: Robots cleaning out the gutters

By Ted Kritsonis, Special to CBCNews.ca

LAS VEGAS - Cleaning leaves out of roof gutters is never a fun job. It can also be dangerous. Enter the Looj, iRobot¹s latest mechanical helper for chores around the house.

The small robot comes with a belt and holster so that you don¹t have to actually hold it when climbing the ladder. After placing the Looj in the gutter a detachable handle can turn it on, leaving it to do its job in clearing out those pesky leaves.

irobotlooj.jpg

I asked about wet leaves, which can be an issue after the winter snow melts. The Looj has rubberized flaps that do most of the work, but there are also smaller hardened plastic ones that push up anything else that's left. The machine is also strong enough to take out twigs.

The 45-minute battery life should be more than enough to do the job for an average-sized house. An iRobot spokeswoman suggested that it would take 10 minutes to clean out 60 feet of gutter.

The Looj comes in three versions starting at $100. Canadian Tire should be carrying it, along with Home Depot (maybe) and online retailers starting this spring.

The author is a Toronto-based freelance writer

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