Amazon is buying Roomba maker iRobot.
Why it matters
Owning iRobot will allow Amazon to expand its device portfolio, making it more competitive in its bid to become the top smart home platform.
Amazon has signed a deal with iRobot, maker of Roomba robot vacuum cleaners, to acquire the company for $1.7 billion. The online commerce giant announced the agreement on Friday, saying it will buy iRobot in an all-cash transaction for $61 per share.
"Over many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent how people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive -- from cleaning when and where customers want while avoiding common obstacles in the home, to automatically emptying the collection bin," Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices, said in a statement.
Colin Angle, iRobot's CEO who will remain in his position, said in the statement that he "cannot think of a better place for our team to continue our mission."
Roomba is now 20 years old, making iRobot one of the pioneers in the home robot space. Since 2017, Roomba has been. And in May, the company introduced iRobot OS, a revamped operating system.
Amazon is a market leader in smart home devices, but it has never offered a vacuum cleaner before. Amazon's lineup includes Ring video doorbells and home security products, Alexa-enabled Echo displays and speakers as well as Fire TV streaming devices and televisions. One of Amazon's biggest rivals in this segment is Google, which offers a Nest smart product line that includes speakers, displays, thermostats, smoke detectors and video doorbells.
Amazon didn't offer further details about how it plans to integrate iRobot with the rest of the company. The company already has a robotics team based in California, and ita security system and Alexa assistant on wheels, in a limited release last year. One of Astro's biggest challenges is avoiding staircases, pets and people as it rolls through a home.