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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Introduction Contd...

It also considered the kiosk to be a low-risk, low-cost way of testing a possible future retail strategy. Colin Angle, Chief Executive Officer of iRobot, said, “As we roll the clock forward you're going to see more and more home robots…and the concept of a robot store is going to be something that every mall is going to want to have.”3

iRobot was established in 1990, to create practical applications for robots. The company started out making robots for research purposes, an activity which yielded poor returns. It became more successful when it began manufacturing robots for use by the military.

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However, the product that brought the company worldwide recognition was the iRobot Roomba, a floor cleaning robot which was introduced in September 2002 and was hailed as a major innovation.

The Roomba was developed after years of research, during which time iRobot developed the complete design of the robot including a unique vacuuming system, and navigation and artificial intelligence software.

Over the years, the Roomba made it to several best product lists and came to be sold in several countries around the world.

iRobot also launched several line extensions of the Roomba, including another popular commercial robot, the floor scrubbing Scooba...

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


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