iRobot Has Sold Its Defense And Security Business

In an effort to divest itself of the defense and security market, iRobot has sold its D&S assets to form another company dedicated to all things military. The new company is led by CEO Sean Bielat, a former Marine officer.

From the release:

The iRobot Defense & Security (D&S) organization is excited to announce that it will become a standalone, privately held Robotics Company focused entirely on the needs of defense, public safety and industrial markets.

The new company will be led by the existing iRobot D&S management team and CEO Sean Bielat, a former iRobot D&S executive and U.S. Marine officer. Tom Frost, current senior vice president of iRobot’s Defense & Security business unit, will serve as President of the new venture. Together, the team will build upon iRobot’s 15 year proven track record of delivering high quality robot designs and strong reputation for support.

The new company is funded by Arlington Capital Partners and will focus on military and defense contracting. The home robot division will remain intact.

Moves like this one are interesting for a few reasons. First, this isolates each business into a separate company and ensures that none of the defense clients are lost in a larger organization. Further, it ostensibly improves iRobot’s image because the home robots are not seen as an offshoot of the military bots especially considering the perception of privacy and safety. After all, we don’t want our vacuums to leave and enlist in the U.S. Army 1st Robotic Division when the next big one hits.