iRobot's Roomba: Bringing Robots into Homes

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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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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG206 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


New product development, marketing strategies, innovation
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 1990-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : iRobot Corporation
Industry : Robotics, Consumer Appliances
Countries : USA, Global


The case describes the efforts of iRobot Corp. (iRobot) to develop and market an innovative product – the iRobot Roomba, a floor-cleaning robot. The case begins with the efforts undertaken by the founders of the company to develop robots for use in research, military and commercial environments. Later, the focus shifted to developing a commercial robot that was eventually named the Roomba. The case describes how the company marketed the product, and its decision to release a later version of the Roomba as an open hardware platform for further robotic development. The case also discusses the factors that prevented the Roomba from becoming a mainstream product.

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies


Understand the challenges faced by companies in new product development.

Study the marketing strategies that can be adopted by companies when introducing a new product in the market.

Appreciate the need for innovation in developing and growing new markets and industries.

Appreciate the difficulties in transforming a niche product into a mainstream product.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
Design and Development 4
Bringing the Roomba into Homes 6
Expanding the Market 6
A Robot in Every Home 7
Competition for the Roomba 9
Challenges 10
Outlook 11
Exhibits 13


Market entry strategies, Product innovation, New product development, Roomba, iRobot, Robotics, Product design/development, Innovation, Product line extensions

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