Amazon Signed an agreement to purchase iRobotRoomba robot vacuum cleaner makers. The deal is worth about $1.7 billion, and Amazon will acquire iRobot for $61 per share in an all-cash deal.
“Customers love iRobot products — and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to create ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable,” says Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices. It’s not immediately clear how iRobot will be integrated into Amazon once the deal is finalized and approved by regulators, but Amazon intends to keep Colin Angle as iRobot’s CEO.
iRobot has been designing robot vacuums since 2002, and they have sold millions of popular Roomba vacuums. Earlier this year, iRobot launched the latest iRobot operating system, an AI-powered platform for robot vacuums and mops. iRobot OS is designed to differentiate Roomba products from the competition with additional software features and capabilities as competition for the robot cleaning space increases.
While Amazon doesn’t detail its plans for the iRobot, the synergies with its other smart home products are clear. Amazon launched its $999 Astro smart home robot last year, which Verge Deputy Editor Dan Seifert described as “the loving kid between the Roomba and the Echo Show smart screen.”
The long-rumored home assistant robot can draw floor plans, listen for commands to move between rooms, 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 operating system on Alexa may not be on wheels, but it’s equally ambitious, with the goal of getting a better understanding of the home through AI and smart features, and then extending to other areas of the smart home.
Combining Roomba, Alexa, Ring doorbells and other Amazon smart products gives the company an incredible amount of data in a modern smart home. This will naturally lead to more questions about privacy, and Amazon’s control of the smart home market.