Tag Archives: irobot

Amazon Abandons $1.4 Billion Deal To Buy Roomba Maker iRobot

Amazon’s deal to buy Roomba maker iRobot is off, the companies announced today, after iRobot said the deal has “no path to regulatory approval in the European Union.” iRobot is also announcing that it is laying off around 330 employees, or around 31 percent of its workforce as part of a restructuring. It expects to notify the majority of affected employees by the end of March, The Verge reported.

As part of the announcement, iRobot chair and CEO Colin Angle, who co-founded the company in 1990, is stepping down from both roles. iRobot’s current executive vice president and chief legal officer, Glen Weinstein, will serve as interim CEO, and Andrew Miller, formerly lead independent director of the board, will become chair.

As part of the restructuring, iRobot is pausing its work on devices outside of its core floor-cleaning product lineup like air purifies and lawn mowers, and closing offices and facilities in “smaller, underperforming geographies.”

The announcement comes after the $1.4 billion acquisition ran into difficulties with EU regulators. Last November, the European Commission said it believed the deal had the potential to restrict competition in the robot cleaner market. Many of iRobot’s competitors also sell their devices on Amazon’s online store, and regulators were concerned that Amazon would delist or reduce the visibility of rival robot vacuum cleaners, restricting competition and “leading to higher prices, lower quality, and less innovation for consumers.”

TechCrunch reported a year and a half after announcing its intention to acquire iRobot, Amazon’s deal is officially dead. All parties involved anticipated some level of regulatory scrutiny, but after a few decades of the company consolidation, few expected this much friction.

The deal had already passed through select international regulatory bodies, including the U.K. Ultimately, however the European Union’s recent clamping down on perceived anti-competitive M&As proved to be the final nail in the coffin.

“iRobot is an innovative pioneer with a clear vision to make consumer robots a reality,” Angle said in a release. “The termination of the agreement with Amazon is disappointing, but iRobot now turns toward the future with a focus and commitment to continue building thoughtful robots and intelligent home innovations that make life better, and that our customers around the world love.”

Mashable reported that Amazon will be fine after the termination of this deal. However, the same cannot be said for iRobot. When Amazon first announced its intention to acquire the Roomba-maker in August 2022, it was seen as somewhat of a bailout for iRobot.

Personally, I love our little Roomba cleaner, and am hoping it will continue working for a long time. That said, it is always sad when workers lose their jobs due to things beyond their control.

iRobot Scooba cleans your Bathroom!

Over the past couple of years we have watched the iRobot line of products expand. At CES 2011 they were showing off the iRobot Scooba, it essentially is a mini iRobot designed to clean hardwood and tiled floors. Specifically they showed it cleaning the bathroom floor.

I immediately wanted one. With a reservoir for cleaning solution and a separate reservoir for the sucked up dirty water this product from iRobot is the perfect cleaning device for those jobs you really hate to do.

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NBCU Day 1 Coverage from Bravo Stage

NBCU was nice enough to offer up their main stage for two events again this year, due to NBCU regular production time over runs we recorded our first NBCU event from the Bravo stage. What is funny is that we finished our 5 company interviews in 26 minutes, yet the program that caused us to not be able to use the main stage, recorded their 8 minute spot 5 times. What was different from take 1 to take 5 still has me still scratching my head, but the producer of that show obviously was not happy.

We had executives from Ford, iRobot, Red, Anti Sleep Pilot and Clickfree we could not not keep these executives waiting,and could not infringe on their time any longer holding them longer waiting for production at NBCU o wrap, so we had to shift to the poorly lit bravo stage. You will see in later videos from our NBCU day 2 coverage the deltas in what going from their main stage to the bravo dome. While I appreciate the support of NBCU and their allowing us to use their facilities we were disappointed that we could not give the companies we invited the appearance experience we had expected. Hopefully in future years we are given time slots that are a lot less conflicting with actual production of NBCU television shows.

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iLawn Mowers

I have seen several versions of automatic or robotic lawn mowers online yet I am still skeptical. Mostly I have seen ones similar to the one pictured at the end of this post. But I have run across a couple of big ones. They all seem to be guided by GPS or an underground cable. The problem I have with the tiny plastic looking ones is they look, well, frail. They appear to only be suited for perfect terrain, weather, and grass height. Most lawn mowers I have seen look pretty rough after about 3 uses. The cost on these auto mowers is nothing to sneeze at either so I see a long way to go before these admittedly cool devices become anything close to the norm. Also these things appear very small so you had better have a matching lawn. Too much area would kill these little things. Of course it does not matter how long it takes since you don’t even have to be outside to run it. I have seen remote controlled mowers but having to sit outside to control it would not be much better than actually riding a mower. The irobot sweepers have done very well but they are used inside in perfect conditions. As for the larger mowers they certainly have their drawbacks. Mainly they could really do some damage. The cute little tiny mowers won’t hurt much if they run astray but get a Dixie Chopper type mower on the loose and you have got a menace to society. I like the concept but it has a long way to go. Paying someone cut the lawn is still much cheaper than buying a robot helper. Oh and making your kids do it for free is even better.

iRobot Loog at the Consumer Electronics Show

If you are a iRobot fan and have ever had to clean your gutters by hand you will be interested in the New iRobot Luge. Watch Andy McCaskey as he gets info on this great product at CES 2008. This is the iRobot Luge you stick it in a gutter and let it clean your gutter. It is waterproof and will clean 60 feet of gutter in 10 minutes. The product retail is $99.95

Their is also a review of the new Roomba it new design and features are pretty impressive in that it cleans corners much better and it has new sensors and RF technology employed to allow it to clean multiple rooms. On a hard floor the battery last 90 minutes and on carpet about 45 minutes All of the parts are now replaceable..

If you want more information on the iRobot Loog and info on future special offers please visit www.rawvoiceoffers.com and enter promo code “IROBOT” or visit www.IROBOT.com