Amazon Acquires Roomba Robotic Vacuum Makers iRobot for $1.7 Billion

Amazon has signed an agreement to acquire iRobot, the makers of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners. The deal is valued at approximately $1.7 billion and Amazon will acquire iRobot for $61 per share in an all-cash transaction.

“Customers love iRobot products, and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent ways to make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices. It’s not immediately clear how iRobot will be integrated into Amazon once the deal is finalized and cleared by regulators, but Amazon intends to keep Colin Angle as iRobot’s CEO.

iRobot has been designing robotic vacuum cleaners since 2002 and has sold millions of its popular Roomba vacuum cleaners. Earlier this year, iRobot released its latest iRobot OS, an AI-powered platform for its robotic vacuums and mops. The iRobot operating system is designed to set Roomba products apart from competitors with additional features and software capabilities as the robot cleaning space becomes increasingly competitive.

Amazon’s iRobot deal comes less than a year after it launched its own Astro robot.
Photo by Dan Seifert/The Verge

While Amazon doesn’t detail its plans for iRobot, the synergies with its other smart home products are clear. Amazon launched its $999 Astro smart home robot last year, which Verge deputy editor Dan Seifert described as “the love child between a Roomba and an Echo Show smart display.”

The long-rumored home assistant robot can draw floor plans, listen for commands to move between rooms, and even recognize faces. Like an Alexa-powered device, it can answer questions, play music, and show you things like the weather. iRobot’s latest operating system may not be mounted on an Alexa on wheels, but it’s equally ambitious, aiming to gain a better understanding of a home through AI and smart features, and then roll out to other areas. of the smart home.

The combination of Roomba, Alexa, Ring Doorbells and other Amazon smart home products give the company an incredible amount of data in a modern smart home. Naturally, that will raise even more questions about privacy and Amazon’s control over the smart home market.

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