In a major move for the home robotics sector, Amazon is set to buy the company best known for its robotic vacuum cleaner.
Tech and e-commerce giant Amazon is buying iRobot in an all-cash deal valued at $1.7 billion.
iRobot is best known for its robot vacuum, the Roomba. Now it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Amazon, which is known for its smart home devices.
Amazon Devices senior vice president Dave Limp said the iRobot team has “proven its ability to reinvent the way people clean” with its products.
“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 was founded in 1990 by MIT roboticists Colin Angle, Helen Greiner and Rodney Brooks. In 2002, it launched its most popular product, the Roomba floor cleaning robot.
Since then, the company has released a number of other robotic products designed to clean gutters, clean floors and clean the air. According to iRobot, it had sold more than 40 million robots worldwide.
Roomba has already been compatible with Amazon’s Alexa smart home device for several years.
“Since we started iRobot, our team has been on a mission to create innovative and practical products that make customers’ lives easier, leading to inventions like Roomba and iRobot OS,” said Angle, who is chairman and CEO. of iRobot.
“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 incredibly excited to be part of Amazon and to see what we can build together for customers in the years to come.”
Angle will remain as CEO of iRobot following the completion of the transaction, subject to customary closing conditions and approvals.
Amazon has been making a push into the home robotics space. Last year it launched Astro, its own robot that integrates with Alexa and offers a variety of home assistant functions.
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