A model Roomba robot vacuum is on display at iRobot’s headquarters in Bedford, Massachusetts
Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The deal will strengthen Amazon’s presence in consumer robotics. Amazon made a bold bet on space last year when it unveiled the Astro home robot, a $1,500 device that comes equipped with the company’s Alexa digital assistant and can follow consumers around their homes. It has also launched a line of smart home devices, like Ring doorbells, as well as voice-activated thermometers and microwaves.
“For many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent the way people clean with incredibly convenient and inventive products – cleaning when and where customers want it while avoiding common obstacles around the home. , to the automatic emptying of the collection bin,” Dave Limp, head of hardware peripherals at Amazon, said in a statement. “Customers love iRobot products – and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”
iRobot, founded in 1990 by roboticists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is best known for making the Roomba, a robot vacuum released in 2002 that can autonomously clean consumer floors. Since then, it has introduced robotic mops and pool cleaners. iRobot also has a subscription program that offers automatic equipment replenishment, among other services.
Once the deal closes, iRobot CEO Colin Angle will continue to lead the company.
Shares of iRobot jumped more than 18% in premarket trading, after being briefly halted after the deal was announced. Amazon’s stock fell about 0.5%.
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