Amazon buys maker of Roombas, the fleet of house-cleaning robots

Amazon is buying the makers of the Roomba, the robot vacuum cleaner.

iRobot will be bought by Amazon for $1.7 billion, it said.

Amazon did not say exactly what it intends to do with iRobot, or its fleet of robot vacuum cleaners.

But the company has shown a keen interest in robotic devices for the home. Last year, Amazon introduced “Astro”, which puts Alexa on wheels and allows it to drive around people’s houses.

Amazon also already owns Ring, after buying the home security company in 2018. Ring is in the process of releasing what it calls the “Always Home Cam” – which flies around people’s houses so that they can check on them from afar.

Through the new purchase, Amazon will gain access not only to iRobot’s hardware but also the detailed maps that its cleaners are able to take of people’s homes.

Amazon suggested that the purchase will allow for new new ways to “make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable”, in a statement attributed to Dave Limp, the head of Amazon Devices.

“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,” he said.

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