In a press release today, iRobot Corporation (listed on the NASDAQ as IRBT) announced that they had passed the sales milestone of five million home robots. Five million! That’s a lot of robot vacuums. iRobot has been selling Roombas since 2002.
“This achievement represents a huge milestone for iRobot and for the robotics industry as a whole,” said Colin Angle, chairman and chief executive officer of iRobot. “We set out to create practical robots that help people accomplish tasks they don’t like to do, and in many cases, don’t have time to do. With over five million home robots sold, we have seen a widespread acceptance of this technology. This further fuels our drive to innovate and provide solutions that make a difference in people’s lives.”
The press release goes on to detail the achievements of the company and features of the robots which have propelled the popularity of its robot vacuum cleaners. Some of the features they talk about in the press release include:
- The behavioral algorithms which make the robots clean floors more effectively.
- Technology for detecting obstacles before the Roomba runs into them.
- The low profile of the Roomba, which makes it ideal for vacuuming under furniture.
- Dirt Detect: The robots sense dirt and change their behavior to spend more time in dirty areas.
- Anti-tangle technology, which keeps the robot vacuums from getting caught on cables and fringes on rugs.
- The spinning side brush.
- Scheduling: So that you can have the robot clean your house when you’re not home.
- Cliff detection to keep the vacuum cleaners from falling down stairs.
- Automatic surface adjustment so that the robots can transition between different floor surfaces.
- Round shape: Here’s one I haven’t thought about. iRobot says that the round shape of the Roombas helps keep them from getting stuck.
- Home base with charger.
The press release goes on to detail the price range of Roombas, emphasizing that the entry-level robot is around US $129, and also mentions some of iRobot’s other robots for cleaning around the house. So the Scooba, Dirt Dog, Looj, and Verro. Here’s a link to the official press release on iRobot’s site.