Amazon is Buying iRobot To Make Smart Homes Smarter

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Author: Aivie Doctora

The inventor of the Roomba robotic vacuum, iRobot Corp., revealed on Friday that it had struck a deal to acquire Amazon for $1.7 billion.

Amazon would pay $61 per share in cash for iRobot, including the company’s debt. The deal would be Amazon’s fourth-largest acquisition from the $8.5 billion purchase of MGM last year. 

Amazon also announced its entry into the healthcare industry this month, agreeing to pay $3.9 billion to acquire One Medical, a nationwide network of primary care clinics.

Robotic vacuum cleaners and air purifiers from iRobot are now part of an Amazon-owned innovative home gadget portfolio that includes Ring doorbells and Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa. Children may learn how to code using the company’s Root teaching robot, also manufactured by iRobot.

In 2002, the Roomba debuted to the pleasure of lazy humans and the annoyance of cats. New York Times named it a product that rapidly became “a member of the home” because it was “simple, effective and amusing.”

First, the $200 model had trouble with corners and chair legs. It even fell down the stairs. The Roomba j7 recognizes over 80 specific things including pet waste and wires. It returns to its dock after it’s done working, then empties itself. The most costly choice is worth considering with a price tag of $999.99.

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iRobot’s roving cleaning equipment is well recognized. The technology that powers these machines also maps the houses of their owners. There are concerns that this data may allow corporations like Amazon to learn about the size and contents of people’s homes, down to their brands, using this data.

In the second quarter of 2022, iRobot recorded sales of $255.4 million, a decline of 30% from the previous year. Amazon made $121.2 billion in sales, an increase of 7.2% but a decrease from the 7.3% revenue growth. Since Amazon’s epidemic demands started to decline, the firm had its weakest growth in almost two decades.

The deal is still seeking regulatory approval. The internet giant has announced its purchase of Ring, the maker of the world’s most popular in-home robot, Roomba. Sensors in the latest Roomba models have become more advanced, allowing it to create 3D maps of consumers’ houses.

This is one of Amazon’s most excellent deals over the years. If the deal pushes through, it might be a turning point in the field of home robotics. 

Roomba has been the only widespread household robot for almost a decade since brands like Anki, Jibo, and Kuri have failed to attract mainstream customers. An army of robot vacuums has followed Roomba. Amazon’s purchase of iRobot suggests that it believes it can replicate its success in household robots.

Final Thoughts

This acquisition by Amazon clearly reflects the company’s growing interest in smart home appliances. The future of smart homes is likely to unlock some exciting opportunities for those with creative minds that can see the potential. Hopefully, this partnership between these two companies can help both companies learn from each other. Many look forwards to it since it will create better innovative solutions for the future of consumer robotics. 

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