Amazon signs one of the big hits of the summer with the announcement of the acquisition of iRobot. This name may not tell you anything, but its flagship product is much better known since it is the Roomba vacuum robot!
Roomba vacuums will come under the fold of Amazon. The e-commerce juggernaut will indeed spend $1.7 billion to acquire iRobot, which values the manufacturer’s share price at $61 per unit. ” iRobot customers love their product, and I’m very excited to work with the iRobot team to make consumers’ lives easier and more enjoyable. says Dave Limp, Vice President of Amazon Devices.
Synergies between Amazon and iRobot
The group did not specify how the activity of iRobot will be integrated within Amazon, on the other hand Colin Angle retains his position as boss of iRobot. The transaction will also have to receive the approval of the competition authorities, which will not be a cakewalk. Amazon is indeed under several investigations in the United States for its commercial practices.
There are obvious synergies between Amazon and iRobot. The two companies have been working on the connected home since 2002 for the creator of Roomba. Artificial intelligence, motion sensors, radars… iRobot vacuum cleaners are like autonomous cars! In addition, last year Amazon launched a robot assistant called Astro. It is able to map the rooms of the house in which it moves, it is always listening to obey the voice requests of the user, it can even recognize faces.
Impossible not to see similarities between Astro and a Roomba! iRobot unveiled a few months ago its own software platform, iRobot OS, which allows its products to obtain updates and unique functionalities in order to differentiate its product line from the competition. Amazon may intend to use it as a basis for its own developments.