iRobot's Roomba: Bringing Robots into Homes

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG206
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 1990-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Available Organization : iRobot Corporation
Industry : Robotics, Consumer Appliances
Countries : USA, Global

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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“(It's) one of the first practical robot stores ever to be in existence that wasn't focused on meeting the needs of the hobbyist. I think it is an important milestone in our industry.”1

- Colin Angle, Chief Executive Officer of iRobot in 2008.

“Today, people say, 'That's not a robot, that's a vacuum,'or, 'that's not a robot, that's an unmanned ground vehicle in the military. But they all are robots. We want to make sure people understand this is a new emerging technology with a large number of areas that it can be adopted in. And at iRobot, we've taken some of the good first steps”.2

- Helen Greiner, Former Chairman and Co-founder of iRobot in 2005.


In November 2008, iRobot Corporation (iRobot) announced the opening of a retail kiosk in Burlington Mall near its headquarters in Bedford, Massachusetts. The kiosk was open from November 07, 2008, to January 15, 2009. It was managed by trained company staff, and offered live demonstrations of the various commercial robots manufactured by the company.

iRobot expected the kiosk to generate interest in the company's commercial robots, and consequently increase sales.

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1] Robert Buderi, “A Robot Store in Every Mall? iRobot CEO Discuss Firm's Efforts to Boost Retail Sales,”, November 12, 2008.

2] Mark Jewell, “The woman who creates robots,”, May 30, 2005.


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