Introduced two decades ago in 2002, a good 5 years before the original iPhone, Roomba by iRobot, and similar robot vacuum cleaners by a copious amount of other brands are now pretty much common household appliances. They work autonomously and they can get to places too difficult for traditional vacuum cleaners. More importantly for the IoT era that we are living in, these robots work with just a tap on your phone from anywhere.
Robot vacuum cleaners can be hours of fun, from the moment they arrive in the humongous boxes to the moment they first come to life with a chime and start exploring.
However, that is not to say the setup process is painless.
iRobot Home App Message – We can’t connect right now
We recently got a Roomba robot vacuum and a Braava robot mop. These are available as a bundle from iRobot. Paring the robots with the iRobot Home app and connecting them to Wi-Fi was easy. However, after the pairing process, the app kept saying “We can’t connect right now”. Without the app, we lose the ability to control the robots remotely.
As you might have guessed, the user manual that came in the box did not help. Google was not much help either.
A reboot often helps with most computer problems, but not in this case. Oh, and to restart the vacuum or the mop, press and hold the CLEAN button for 20 seconds.
How to “Fix” the “We can’t connect right now” Error
This problem had me scratching my head but eventually, I realized the app and the robots just need time to make the connection – especially since I probably have bad Wi-Fi. The robots need longer to talk to the cloud and the cloud needs longer to pin the app on my phone.
So the trick is, be patient, allow the iRobot Home app a little time, switch to a different Wi-Fi connection or cellular, and the “We can’t connect right now” message will change to “Ready to vacuum” or “Ready to wet mop”. If it doesn’t try factory resetting and redoing the pairing process. Call tech support if factory resetting does not help.