The AI's have it: Amazon, home of Alexa, is plunking down $1.7 billion to buy iRobot Corp., home of Roomba. But even before that deal, Amazon and the marketer of robot vacs were connected by commerce and technology.
Amazon is iRobot’s biggest customer, accounting for more than a fifth of its $1.6 billion worldwide revenue in 2021, according to Ad Age Datacenter’s analysis of iRobot filings.
IRobot also is a customer of Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s technology services business. IRobot explained in its annual regulatory filing: “By leveraging our robust connectivity and cloud infrastructure through Amazon Web Services and the ever-increasing processing power in our robots, we have built a Home Knowledge Cloud that can quickly and cost-effectively support over-the-air delivery of new digital features and enhanced functionality for customers globally.”
IRobot last November announced an agreement with Amazon to use Alexa voice commands to control Roomba vacuums. ("IRobot and Amazon customers can now engage in a two-way dialogue with their robots," the announcement said, "to improve the overall experience." For those inclined to ruminate with their Roombas and give vox to their vacs.)