Friday, August 5, 2022

Amazon buys maker of Roombas, fleet of home cleaning robots

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Amazon is buying the makers of the Roomba vacuum cleaner robot.

iRobot will be bought by Amazon for $1.7 billion, it said.

Amazon hasn’t said exactly what it plans to do with iRobot or its fleet of robot vacuums.

But the company has shown great interest in robotic devices for the home. Last year, Amazon introduced Astro, which puts Alexa on wheels and allows it to drive around people’s homes.

Amazon also already owns Ring, having bought the home security company in 2018. Ring is about to launch what it calls the “Always Home Cam” – which flies around people’s homes so they can check on them remotely.

The new purchase not only gives Amazon access to iRobot’s hardware, but also the detailed maps its cleaners can take from people’s homes.

Amazon suggested the purchase will open up new avenues to “make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable,” in a statement attributed to Dave Limp, head of Amazon Devices.

“Over many years, the iRobot team has proven their ability to reinvent the way people clean with incredibly practical and inventive products – from cleaning when and where customers want, while bypassing common household obstacles , to automatically emptying the collection bin,” he said.

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