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iRobot: Amazon buys Roomba manufacturer for $1.7 billion


More than 30 million so-called Roombas from iRobot have already been used. Now the manufacturer of what is probably the world's best-known vacuum cleaner robot is becoming part of the Amazon retail group.

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Model Roomba i7: The manufacturer iRobot becomes part of Amazon

Photo: iRobot

Amazon announced on Friday that it would buy iRobot.

According to the company, the retail group is offering 61 dollars per share, which results in a total price of around 1.7 billion dollars.

iRobot was founded in 1990 by three employees at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) artificial intelligence laboratory.

Co-founder Colin Angle will remain CEO.

Initially, iRobot developed robots for the military and police.

However, the company has become known as the manufacturer of the vacuum cleaner robots called Roomba.

The first model was presented in 2002.

According to the company, 30 million units will have been sold by 2020.

This was followed by the mopping robot Scooba, the pool cleaning robot Verro and the gutter cleaning robot Looj.

In 2016, iRobot sold its military and security robots division to Arlington Capital Partners.

There have long been interfaces between the two companies anyway: Roombas can be controlled via Amazon's digital language assistant Alexa, and iRobot also uses Amazon servers.

Since some Roomba models have numerous sensors and use them to measure their owners' apartments, this information is already being sent to Amazon.

The announcement does not reveal whether Amazon plans to monetize this knowledge about the living situation of iRobot customers in any way.

Dave Limp, head of Amazon's devices division, shared, "We know that saving time is important, and housework robs customers of valuable time that would be better spent doing something they love." He looks forward to working with the iRobot team to work on "making the lives of customers easier and more beautiful".

Amazon has also developed robots, but primarily to work in its warehouses.

Almost a year ago, the group also announced its first home robot: Astro.

For example, it should patrol the house when the residents are not at home and be able to send them live images.

Astro costs around $1500 and is available by invitation only from Amazon.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-08-05

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