Amazon is buying the company behind the Roomba for $1.7 billion

The deal, which awaits shareholder and regulator approval, has the potential to expand Amazon’s range of robots and deepen its presence in consumers’ homes. Last year, Amazon introduced a home robot called Astro. The $999, 20-pound dog-like robot zooms from room to room, capturing live video and learning your habits.

“For many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent the way people clean with incredibly convenient and inventive products,” said Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon Devices. “I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”

After launching the first Roomba in 2002, iRobot has developed several generations of robot vacuums, mops and air purifiers that will now be part of Amazon’s product catalog.

For Amazon, the acquisition represents “a new foray into the home automation market,” according to Neil Saunders, chief executive of GlobalData, a data analytics and consulting firm.

“It’s easy to see how Amazon will integrate products like Roomba into the Alexa and Prime ecosystems, so people have a central point of monitoring and control for many tasks and activities,” he said.

The deal also represents Amazon’s second notable $1 billion acquisition in as many weeks. The e-commerce giant reached a deal last month to buy primary healthcare provider One Medical in an all-cash deal worth around $3.9 billion.

Shares of iRobot jumped nearly 20% in premarket trading on Friday following the announcement.


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