A Roomba vacuuming robot on display at iRobot headquarters in Bedford, Massachusetts
Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The deal will strengthen Amazon’s presence in consumer robotics. Last year, Amazon made a bold bet on the space exposed The Astro home robot, a $1,500 device, is equipped with the company’s Alexa digital assistant and can follow users around their homes. It has also introduced a number of smart home devices that users can control with their voice, such as thermometers, light bulbs and microwave ovens.
“Over the years, the iRobot team has proven to be able to reinvent the way people clean with products that are incredibly practical and ingenious, from cleaning when and where customers want, avoiding common obstacles around the home, to automatically emptying the waste bin,” Dave’ Limp, Amazon’s head of hardware, said in a statement. “Customers love iRobot products – and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to come up with ways to make our customers’ lives easier and easier.”
iRobot, which in 1990 founded by MIT robots, is best known for making the Roomba, a robotic vacuum that can clean users’ floors on its own. It has also introduced robotic mops and pool cleaners, and has a subscription program that offers automatic refills, among other services.
When the deal closes, iRobot CEO Colin Angle will continue to lead the company.
Shares in iRobot were suspended after the deal was announced. Amazon shares were down about 0.5% in premarket trading.
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