iRobot to Sell Military Robotics Division

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iRobot selling Military and defence robots

Robotic-maid-makers iRobot announced on Thursday that were going to begin selling the company’s military robotics division in order to focus on the growing Home Robotics market.

READ MORE // Military Testing Amphibious Rolling Robots

iRobot is known for its handy helping robot, the Roomba.  They also happen to make the PackBot – robots used for bomb disposal, chemical testing or war zones.  The company said they were going to sell their Defence and Securities division to Arlington Capital Partners for $45 million USD, who would spin the division off into a new company.

The Deal is expected to close in a couple of months.

iRobot roomba 980

According to the company, the move will let the company focus on the most profitable kind of robots: maids.

iRobot sees significant growth opportunities in the consumer robotic technology market, particularly in light of the successful Roomba 980 launch and the potential presented by the connected smart home. With 14 million robots in people’s homes today and the leading market share within the robotic floor care segment, iRobot has revolutionized the way people clean. The divestiture of the Defense & Security business will allow us to focus on the Home Robots business, bring new products to market, continue our expansion in China and build upon successful new marketing campaigns. We are confident that our strategy of focusing on the home will position iRobot for continued growth and success.

iRobot CEO Colin Angle made a mention of the move in the company’s last earnings call, saying revenue is coming from the home robot division more than defence.  After partnering with a consulting firm, iRobot agreed to drop the military bots, saying

the future lies in home robots, not war.

iRobot's PackBot at work in Iraq

The move could impact the company for the better; it can look odd to consumers when cute automated cleaning robots are sold alongside armed Packbots.  It also makes sense financially: as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq finally wrap up after a decade of battle, the demand for military robots has begun to decline.

Lets just hope PackBot doesn’t also come looking for work in quiet suburban homes.

[via iRobot]

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