Amazon hoovers up Roomba maker iRobot for $1.7bn

5 Aug 2022

Image: © hakinmhan/Stock.adobe.com

In a major move for the home robotics sector, Amazon will acquire the company best known for its robotic vacuum cleaner.

Tech and e-commerce giant Amazon is buying iRobot in an all-cash deal valued at $1.7bn.

iRobot is best known for its robotic vacuum, Roomba. It has now entered into a definitive merger agreement with Amazon, which is well known for its own smart home devices.

Senior vice-president of Amazon Devices, Dave Limp, said the iRobot team has “proven its ability to reinvent how people clean” with its products.

“Customers love iRobot products, and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent in ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”

iRobot was founded in 1990 by MIT roboticists Colin Angle, Helen Greiner and Rodney Brooks. In 2002, it launched its most well-known product, the Roomba floor vacuuming robot.

Since then, the company has released a range of other robotic products designed to clean gutters, mop floors and purify the air. According to iRobot, it had sold more than 40m robots worldwide.

The Roomba has already been compatible with Amazon’s smart home device Alexa for several years.

“Since we started iRobot, our team has been on a mission to create innovative, practical products that make customers’ lives easier, leading to inventions like the Roomba and iRobot OS,” said Angle, who is chair and CEO of iRobot.

“Amazon shares our passion for building thoughtful innovations that empower people to do more at home, and I cannot think of a better place for our team to continue our mission. I’m hugely excited to be a part of Amazon and to see what we can build together for customers in the years ahead.”

Angle will remain as CEO of iRobot following the completion of the transaction, subject to customary closing conditions and approvals.

Amazon has been making a push in the home robotics space. Last year it launched Astro, its own robot that integrates with Alexa and provides a number of home assistant functions.

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Jenny Darmody is the deputy editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com