rusticus ,

iRobot has rested on their laurels and patent portfolio for years while others (ie Roborock) have lapped their products. Looks like they'll continue to decline into obscurity and count on patent troll lawsuits to survive. BTW, anyone want to buy a POS Roomba i7 that beats the hell out of furniture and baseboards while constantly getting jammed rollers?

Clent ,

Does it come with a self cleaning base?

I'll give you $5 plus shipping.

ohlaph ,

I'll give you $4, minus shipping after you get it.

BigMacHole ,

It's a good thing we gave Amazon Tax CUTS instead of RAISES! Otherwise they may have forced people to lose their jobs!

HawlSera , (edited )

Why the fuck would you name your robotics company that?

Ya know, when I named my Red Car "Christine" it was a joke and one for my own amusement, if it were a new model of car that I was selling there are a couple of reasons I wouldn't have done that.

webghost0101 ,

Fyi: This is the company that makes roombas and thats the name people recognize. They where founded as irobot in the 90s and it was clearly copying apple.

Its almost suprising they didnt sue the irobot movie for its title, being that the original titel by Isaac Asimov spelled it “i, robot”

judgejenkins , avatar

They where founded as irobot in the 90s and it was clearly copying apple.

Are you saying the name iRobot is copying Apple? Because iRobot was founded almost 10 years before the first iMac.

webghost0101 ,

Till apple didn’t stat the i- naming scheme till imac in 98.

So irobot at the time really was an original name…

badbytes ,

Gotta layoff workers to save money for stock buybacks.

Zehzin , avatar

Naming your robot company iRobot is Nightmare Nexus levels of disrespect

avidamoeba , avatar

Good news for us Roomba users, not so good news for employees. 😑

Ghostalmedia , avatar

I don’t know if this actually good for Roomba users. Selling to Amazon, and maintaining the status quo are both bad for the user.

This isn’t a healthy company. It’s a busted company that Amazon was looking to salvage or rehabilitate.

avidamoeba , avatar

Is it a busted company? I quickly found data for 2009-2022 and they've registered profit for every year till 2022 when they had their first loss. They've been around since the 90s.

Patches ,

every year till 2022 when they had their first loss

Numbers must always go up. Never down.

Especially when interest rates quadrupled.

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

No Amazon does not terminate the deal, the EU did. Because otherwise Amazon will have too much power over the robot industry.

silverbax ,

And, Amazon didn't want to give up the 'mapping everyone's home and tracking them' concept.

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

That is for sure... I don't trust Amazon for a bit..

ilmagico ,

Technically, no, iRobot and Amazon "mutually agreed" to terminate the deal, most likely cause the EU probably wasn't going to approve, but:

  1. The EU was set to deliberate in mid Feb, so they didn't (yet)
  2. It's also possible that Amazon used the likely rejection of the EU as an excuse to back out of a deal they didn't want anymore

I don't know which one it is, but if Amazon wanted to close, they would've been willing to make concessions to the EU to get their approval, rather than backing out.

someguy3 , (edited )

Huh I thought it was done a long time ago. Looks like Roomba's back on the menu, boys!

june ,

Oh, I might consider buying one again now.

ElusiveClarity ,

Save yourself the headache and get something that works locally and doesn’t rely on their cloud and app.

thisfro ,

What options are there out of the box? I only know of hacking well known brands and use something like valetudo

lemming741 ,

I put a wemos d1 mini in mine since all I need to do is mash the existing Clean button. The internal MCU runs on 3.3v, the buttons are pulled low and activated by the same 3.3v rail, so all I had to do was flash it with ESPhome and wire the low side of the buttons to a gpio. I wanted to read the LED state but the multiplex scheme wasn't worth decoding. I did use the single analog pin to measure battery voltage, and an input for the roller and blower motors.

surewhynotlem ,

Well done. I can't tell if you're shitposting or if this is legitimately the simplest home automation setup.

lemming741 , (edited )
surewhynotlem ,

That's actually really awesome. Makes me want to get another vacuum

lemming741 ,

I used Shark Ion RV750 and RV750N. Basically no parts cross over but the layout is very similar. Both were straightforward to interface with and even had a little slot the board fit in!

asbestos ,

Bro’s a menace to robot vacuum companies

thisfro ,

Ah nice, so they work completely without internet? I somehow assumed they will need internet for first setup

lemming741 ,

I bought them used, so I don't know about initial setup if you bought a brand new one. But yeah the shark isn't even on my wifi, just the esphome.

ElusiveClarity ,

I’ve heard nothing but great things about Roborock.

blueeggsandyam ,

I have one and it works well. Vacuum and moping in one machine that costs a lot less than the irobot equivalent. You can also load it with Valetudo (open source robot vacuum firmware)

june ,

Reasonably sure i can set up local control through home assistant. Haven’t looked too hard but I’ve always liked the featuresets on the roombas and the Amazon connection was the reason I haven’t done too much investigation yet.

melroy Admin ,
melroy avatar

True story. I hate all those cloud devices, which can run perfectly locally. And doesn't require a subscription. I even see it back in cars nowadays, stupid subscriptions.

avidamoeba , avatar

Roomba uses local push in HA.

ElusiveClarity ,

I didn’t realize that so I just went to check on mine and the integration is errored out lol. A quick look on the forums shows that multiple people are having the same issue. When mine was working, I only had a few options like start and go home so it wasn’t that helpful anyways. The roomba app did update with room mapping abilities but I was never able to get that information into home assistant so my only option was a full clean. Maybe it’s changed since mine stopped working but I can’t wait to get something that’s better supported and put this one upstairs where it only has a few rooms to clean.

CarlosCheddar ,

I’ve been much happier with my Roborock than my Roomba. It definitely seems smarter.

GentlemanLoser ,

Have them fight to the death

burrito ,

It'd be an easy battle. The last iRobot device I had was a fickle piece of junk that'd error out constantly or ignore virtual walls. I'm on my second Roborock vacuum now and am very impressed with how well they work. I gave my first one away and it's still working great for the person I gave it to.

tenextrathrills ,

If it’s any consolation those people would have been laid off no matter what happened. That’s how we do things now apparently

Copernican ,

iRobot said it would focus on margin improvements, reduce spending on research and development, and pause all work on “non-floorcare” products, including its air purifiers and robotic lawn mowers.

I doubt it. If you are stopping r&d and killing whole product lines, it makes sense to lay off the teams directly tied to those product lines. I'm guessing they needed Amazon to help them break into the market for areas outside of floor vacuums?

tenextrathrills ,

Call me a skeptic but I’d be willing to bet small amounts of money that Amazon would absolutely lay some or all of these people off after the initial onboarding.

Copernican ,

It really depends on redundancy. Does Amazon have people that can do what iRobot staff does. For operational or sales teams maybe. If Amazon becomes the only store where you can buy a roomba, you probably lay off folks responsible for wholesale. That probably also means you lay off some marketing. But the core people that make the stuff probably have less redundancy. These layoffs are probably impacting the people that actually make and design the stuff, since they no longer or going to make all the stuff they planned. The hypothetical layoffs for acquisition would probably be smaller and impact different people at the company. And because it's an acquisition, there may have been negotiated more favorable severance terms,

EmergMemeHologram ,

Fold home automation IP into Alexa brand, keep iRobot vacuum brand but increase data exfiltration, and put ads on all searches to increase sales, layoff the scrubs R&D team would be the natural playbook.

Clent ,

They should definitely dump air purifiers. What does that have to do with robotics?

Lawn mowers however seem like a stupid drop, since a lawn is floor adjacent and the market in them is growing.

Ghostalmedia , avatar

iRobot had been struggling over the past few years, and now capital is expensive. They were either going to need to sell or cut back in order to right the ship.

empireOfLove2 , avatar

Gotta artificially drive the cost of labor down somehow. All those poor folk started getting some wild ideas that they were worth something....

HawlSera ,

Very sustainable

nilloc ,

They fired their whole education wing when my startup was just starting to work with them (15 or something years ago). No warning just a month after starting a new project (early stem outreach type program), fired them all.

So I don’t feel bad for iRobot. Sucks for the employees though.

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