Amazon to purchase iRobot, maker of Roomba robotic vacuums, for $1.7 billion

Amazon signed an agreement to acquire iRobot, manufacturers of Roomba robot vacuum cleaners. The deal is valued at approximately $1.7 billion, and Amazon will acquire iRobot for $61 per share in cash.

“Customers love iRobot products – and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to find ways to make our customers’ lives easier and easier,” said Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Devices. It’s unclear how iRobot will be integrated into Amazon once the deal closes and gets regulatory approval, but Amazon plans to keep Colin Angle as iRobot’s CEO.

iRobot has been developing robotic vacuum cleaners since 2002. and sold millions of the popular Roomba vacuums. Earlier this year, iRobot introduced the latest iRobot OS, an AI-powered platform for its robotic vacuum cleaners and mops. iRobot OS is designed to differentiate Roomba products from the competition with additional software features and capabilities as the robotic cleaning space becomes increasingly competitive.

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

While Amazon hasn’t detailed its plans for iRobot, the synergy with other smart home products is clear. Last year, Amazon introduced its $999 Astro smart home robot, the Verge Deputy Editor Dan Seifert described how “The Love Child Between Roomba and Echo Show’s Smart Display”.

The long-standing home assistant robot can draw floor plans, listen to commands to move from one room to another, and even recognize faces. Much like an Alexa-powered device, it can answer questions, play music, and show things like the weather. iRobot’s latest OS may not be built for Alexa on wheels, but it is equally ambitiousto better understand the home through AI and smart features, and then expand into other areas of the smart home.

The combination of Roomba, Alexa, Ring doorbells and other Amazon smart home products gives the company an incredible amount of data in today’s smart home. This will naturally raise even more questions about privacy and Amazon’s control of the smart home market.

Leave a Comment