Aspirateur robot iRobot Roomba J7 Noir

Amazon buys robot vacuum pioneer iRobot for $1.7 billion

According to 01Net’s Amazon buys robot vacuum pioneer iRobot for $1.7 billion
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The e-commerce giant offers itself the Roomba designer. A deal that comes at a pivotal time for this market, which has become ultra-competitive with the arrival of many Chinese brands.

The Roomba will fall into the hands of Amazon. Through a press release, Amazon announced today that it has begun the acquisition of the company iRobot, famous for its robot vacuum cleaners, for the sum of approximately 1.7 billion dollars. It is the fourth largest acquisition in Amazon’s history, after Whole Foods Market, MGM and One Medical.

It must be said that iRobot is far from being a start-up, it is even a pioneer of personal robotics. Launched in 1990 in the corridors of the prestigious MIT in Boston, the company first devoted itself to designing robots for military and scientific purposes… Before marketing, in September 2002, one of the first robot vacuum cleaners on the market : the Roomba, which will quickly become a commercial success. In 2021, iRobot indicated that it had sold 40 million robots.

A nice performance… But the tide has turned a bit for iRobot in recent years, due to now fierce Chinese competition, which also signs excellent products… at very affordable prices. It has also multiplied various cleaning robots (swimming pool, gutter, etc.) without these meeting the same success as the Roomba.

Significant synergies in perspective

This takeover announcement, which also comes when iRobot has just presented financial results that are far from famous, therefore comes at the right time. iRobot will now be able to take advantage of Amazon’s incredible commercial power, as well as numerous synergies.

The firm of Jeff Bezos is indeed also an expert in robotics. Firstly because it has been robotizing its warehouses at a forced march for years, and has thus acquired a certain know-how in this area. Amazon also presented a new salvo of more efficient machines a few weeks ago.

But Amazon is also taking a keen interest in personal robotics. Last year, it unveiled Astro, a companion robot with a telescopic camera capable of monitoring your home or launching telepresence video conferences. Its Echo Show 10, launched in France last year, also has a robotic screen.

This takeover could well make waves. On the one hand because more and more voices are being raised against the voracious appetite of “Big Tech” with too deep pockets. But above all because with the map data collected by the sensors of Roomba vacuum cleaners, Amazon could be able to collect new information about your life at home, such as the plans of your apartment or house. And thus complete an already complete arsenal of surveillance between Echo devices, Ring bells and cameras, etc.