The promise of home robotics has been a persistent one over the decades. After all, who wouldn’t want a Rosie the Robot to help out with chores around the house? In spite of the mutually agreed upon coolness of such an idea, however, the idea has proven elusive — for all but one company.
iRobot has given the world the one true mainstream home robot in the form of the Roomba. The robotic vacuum features complex underlying technology to help it perform one of the most mundane domestic tasks. The product has only grown in popularity since launching in 2002. In 2017, it was the best-selling vacuum in the United States.
iRobot CEO Colin Angle cofounded the company 28 years ago, alongside fellow roboticist Rodney Brooks and Helen Greiner. In its earliest days, iRobot built everything from moon rovers to baby dolls, but, as Angle jokes, he found his greatest success as a vacuum salesman.
For their next trick, Angle and iRobot plan to use Roomba to unlock the smart home. The company sees the popular robotic vacuum serving as a kind of connective tissue for the growing popularity of smart devices and assistants. In its latest iteration, the company announced indoor mapping, the first step toward that larger goal.
Angle will be joining us on stage at Disrupt SF to outline the future for the Roomba line and how the company plans to become an integral part of the smart home puzzle.