Good morning dear readers of Tecnogalaxy, today we will talk about Amazon that bought for 1,7 billion irobot.

Amazon and irobot announced “a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire irobot” for 1.7 billion dollars. The announcement was a surprise, to put it mildly. The press release, like most, doesn’t include much in the details. But here are some parts:

“We know that saving time is important and housework takes valuable time that can be better spent doing something that customers love,” said Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon Devices. “Over many years, the irobot team has proven its ability to reinvent the way people clean with incredibly practical and imaginative products, from cleaning when and where customers want to avoid common obstacles in the home, automatic emptying of the collection bin. Customers love irobot products and are excited to work with the irobot team to invent ways that make customer life easier and more fun”.

“Since we started irobot, our team has had the mission to create innovative and practical products that simplify customers’ lives, leading to inventions like Roomba and iRobot OS,” said Colin Angle, president and CEO of irobot. “Amazon shares our passion for creating thoughtful innovations that allow people to do more at home and I can’t think of a better place for our team to continue our mission. I am extremely excited to be part of Amazon and see what we can build together for customers in the years to come”.

irobot: has a bizarre story initially worked on strange DARPA projects and even stranger toys, everything they have achieved with PackBot, later led to the creation of a successful company that builds useful and affordable robots for the home. I’m sure that irobot and Amazon have all kinds of plans, promises and whatever, but anyway, now I’m curious to see the first links that the Amazon ecosystem will have with irobot.

Why is it a good move for Amazon to join with the Irobot?

It seems pretty obvious why Amazon wanted to get their hands on irobot. Amazon has worked for years to integrate into homes, first with audio systems (Alexa), then video (Ring), and more recently some questionable domestic robots, such as its internal security drone and Astro. Amazon clearly needs help to settle in the house and irobot was the missing piece, with its extraordinarily qualified team of highly experienced engineers will make many innovations. And needless to say, irobot is already well established in a large number of homes, with a brand recognition comparable to something like Dyson.

All those roombas in all those houses are also collecting a crazy amount of data for irobots. irobot himself has been reasonably sensitive to privacy in this regard, but it would be naive not to assume that Amazon sees much potential to learn a lot about what happens in our living rooms. This is more worrying, because Amazon has its own ideas about data privacy and it is unclear what it will mean in the future. Moreover, apparently irobot had some difficulty in finding ways to innovate and grow, with their greatest potential reached by the new consumer product (the lawn mower) on hiatus for a few years.

The concern, however, is that irobot will be completely swallowed up in Amazon and will actually cease to exist. I hope that the relationship between Amazon and irobot is an exception to this historical trend. In addition, there is some precedent in this: Boston Dynamics, for example, has survived multiple acquisitions while keeping its technology and philosophy more or less independent and intact. It will be up to irobot to act very aggressively to preserve himself and keep Colin Angle as.

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