Roomba robot vacuum cleaner manufacturer iRobot has agreed to sell its business to Amazon for $1.7 billion.
The world’s largest online E-Commerce and cloud computing firm Amazon made the deal official on Friday, announcing that it would pay $61 per share in cash to acquire iRobot.
Since its founding in 1990, iRobot has produced a vast array of consumer robotic products, including the vacuum cleaner Roomba and the mop Braava.
The corporation has experienced difficulties in recent years with supply chain problems and tariffs from China.
By improving the robots’ intelligence and enabling clients to customize the cleaning of their homes, the business has been attempting to set itself apart from other manufacturers of cleaning robots.
The voice-activated virtual assistant Alexa from Amazon and iRobot might be used to improve Amazon’s idea of the smart home.
The garbage can may be automatically emptied, and customers can clean whenever and wherever they choose while eliminating typical residential obstacles.
Colin Angle, the CEO of iRobot, who will remain in his position, stated in a statement that he “cannot think of a better environment for our team to pursue our aim.”
Since Roomba has been around for 20 years, iRobot has been a leader in the home robot industry. Since 2017, Roomba and Alexa from Amazon have worked together.
Additionally, the business unveiled the updated operating system iRobot OS in May.
In 1990, iRobot was founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology robotics specialists. The product best recognized for it is the Roomba, an autonomous robotic vacuum that was made available to consumers in 2002.
iRobot’s membership program offers automatic equipment replenishment in addition to other services.
Despite dominating the market for smart home gadgets, Amazon has never had a vacuum cleaner available. The product line from Amazon includes Fire TV streaming devices and televisions, Echo displays and speakers with Alexa capabilities, Ring video doorbells, and home security items.
Google, which sells a range of smart products called Nest that includes speakers, displays, thermostats, smoke detectors, and video doorbells, is one of Amazon’s main competitors in this market.
Amazon didn’t provide any additional information regarding how it intends to incorporate iRobot into the rest of the business. A mobile security system, Alexa, and the company’s robot Astro were all released in limited quantities last year.
The company already has a robotics team based in California. Avoiding stairs, animals, and people while rolling through a house is one of Astro’s biggest obstacles.
In less than a month, Amazon acquired two publicly traded companies. The colossal e-commerce company also paid $3.9 billion in July to acquire One Medical, which had gone public in 2020.
The Roomba has advanced sensors included in more recent models, allowing it to create 3D maps of consumers’ homes. During a period when the online retailer has been very active, the deal is one of Amazon’s biggest. It comes after recent, sizable partnerships between MGM and OneMedical. The acquisition might be a turning point for home robotics if it goes through.
Since Anki, Jibo, and Kuri failed to appeal to the general public, Roomba has been the only house robot that is truly mainstream.
Amazon undoubtedly hopes that by acquiring iRobot, it can achieve for the house what it has with industrial robotics.
Amazon Robots is almost commonly known as the warehousing and fulfillment robotics space during a pandemic-fueled boom ten years after it acquired Kiva.
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