Home (and military) robot maker iRobot has just acquired Evolution Robotics, the makers of the Mint floor-cleaning robot with an R&D shop focused on navigational tools. The Mint cleaner will join iRobot’s Roomba line.
In a press release that touts the move as an expansion of iRobot’s “position as global robotic floor care market-leader,” the company announced that it paid cash for Evolution out of its own reserves.
ER was founded in 2001 and launched the Mint floor cleaner in 2010. Because Mint is designed for hardwood floors, the essentially non-competing products will target different markets. The Roombas, in other words, will take the rugs while the Mints will take the parquet.
Evolution also offers the Northstar navigation platform that helps Mint return to its base station as well as the delightfully named vSLAM mapping system, which uses a small camera and dead reckoning to asses a robot’s position in space.
The CEO of Evolution Robotics, Paolo Pirjanian, will become iRobot CTO. The acquisition will close in Q4 2012.