(Pocket-lint) – It seems that Amazon is keen on expanding its smart home portfolio with robot vacuum cleaners. The company has announced that it is acquiring iRobot, the maker of the tried and trusted Roomba line-up of robot vacuums.
With a deal that’s costing roughly $1.7 billion, the e-commerce giant is adding some serious talent to its smart home offering.
Amazon has talked about how “…iRobot has a history of making customers’ lives easier with innovative cleaning products for the home. iRobot has continued to innovate with every product generation, solving hard problems to help give customers valuable time back in their day .”
We’ve certainly thought highly of the various iRobot Roomba cleaning devices we’ve tested over the last few years. Capable cleaning machines not only help keep your home clean, but do it with a level of intelligence that means you don’t even need to think about what’s happening.
Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon Devices has acknowledged the power of Roomba devices and the work iRobot has done to craft capable cleaning products:
“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. Customers love iRobot products—and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent in ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”
Amazon hasn’t detailed its plans for iRobot as of yet, but we’ve already seen Amazon’s efforts with Astro, the Alexa-enabled smart home robot. So perhaps future Roombas will have Alexa built-in as standard.
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While cynical people might worry that Amazon now has access to a virtual map of your home, we’re intrigued to see what the company does with iRobot and what’s next. Will it tie in with ring and thread? Time will tell.
Writing by Adrian Willings. Editing by Chris Hall.