Amazon has announced its intention to acquire autonomous consumer robot company iRobot.
iRobot is best known for its Roomba robotic vacuums and Braava robot mops, but it also offers air purifiers, handheld vacuums, and educational robots to help kids learn to code at home and at school. Amazon spends $1.7 billion(Opens in a new window) ($61 per share) in an all-cash transaction to take control of the company, but both iRobot shareholder approval and regulatory approval will be required to complete the sale.
“Amazon shares our passion for building thoughtful innovations that empower people to do more at home, and I can’t think of a better place for our team to continue our mission. I’m very excited to be a part of Amazon and see what we do we can create together for customers in the coming years.” said Colin Angle, president and CEO of iRobot.
Amazon notes that iRobot has “a history of making customers’ lives easier with innovative home cleaning products,” suggesting that this is where future iRobot products will be focused. It seems likely that Amazon will continue to use the Roomba brand since it’s so familiar to consumers, but we’ll have to wait and see if the word “Echo” gets tagged in some way.
Amazon also confirmed that once the sale is completed, Colin Angle will remain CEO of iRobot, suggesting that it intends to keep the company operating as an independent entity.
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Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Devices, said: “Over the years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent the way people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive—from cleaning when and wherever customers want, avoiding common obstacles at home. to automatically empty the collection bin. 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.”
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