iRobot acquires competitor Evolution Robotics for $74 million

20 September 2012

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Mint floor cleaning robots produced by Evolution Robotics differ from iRobot’s methods; plan is for them to be developed and marketed as complementary.

Evolution’s CEO Paulo Pirjanian will become the new iRobot CTO replacing Joe Dyer who is retiring.

Financial downside of the acquisition is that iRobot must sell off Evolution’s inventory at breakeven plus they acquired a loss of $7 million and a very low GP margin for the whole product line. So Q4 and the next 2-3 quarters for iRobot are going to take a big hit—as did iRobot’s stock yesterday and today on the news.

The acquisition includes many US and international patents. iRobot CEO Colin Angle said that the patents and technology acquired from Evolution – particularly involved with visual SLAM technology – will enable iRobot to navigate future floor cleaning robots at lower cost.

To read a transcript of Colin Angle’s comments and answers to investor questions, click here.

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.

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