Amazon has signed an agreement to acquire iRobot, makers of Roomba robot vacuums. The deal is valued at approximately $1.7 billion, and Amazon will acquire iRobot for $61 per share in an all-cash transaction.
“Customers love iRobot products — and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent in ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable,” says Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon Devices. It’s not immediately clear how iRobot will be integrated into Amazon once the deal is finalized and cleared by regulators, but Amazon intends to keep Colin Angle as the CEO of iRobot.
iRobot has been designing robot vacuums since 2002, and it has sold millions of its popular Roomba vacuums. Earlier this year iRobot launched its latest iRobot OS, an AI-powered platform for its robot vacuums and mops. The iRobot OS is designed to differentiate Roomba products from competitors with additional software features and capabilities as the robot cleaning space gets increasingly competitive.
While Amazon doesn’t detail its plans for iRobot, the synergies with its other smart home products are clear. Amazon launched its $999 Astro smart home robot last year, which The Hamden Journal Deputy Editor Dan Seifert described as “the love child between a Roomba and an Echo Show smart display.”
The long-rumored home assistant robot can map out floor plans, listen to commands to move between rooms, and even recognizes faces. Much like an Alexa-powered device, it can answer questions, play music, and show you things like the weather. iRobot’s latest OS might not be mounted to an Alexa on wheels, but it’s equally ambitious, with the aim to get a better understanding of a home through AI and smart features, and then extend to other areas of the smart home.
The combination of Roomba, Alexa, Ring doorbells, and Amazon’s other smart home products give the company an incredible amount of data in a modern smart home. That will naturally lead to even more questions around privacy, and Amazon’s control over the smart home market.