iRobot sucks up Mint maker Evolution Robotics

Scooba and Mint: Now BFF.

Tim Hornyak/CNET)

Is Roomba going square?

Besides celebrating the vac-bot’s tenth birthday today, iRobot announced that it’s buying Evolution Robotics, whose sleek, four-sided Mint droid cleans hard surfaces with disposable cloths.

The $74 million deal brings the compact, lightweight Mint into the iRobot fold, giving the vacubot maker another product to tackle floors that aren’t carpeted.

The scrubber was a potential rival to iRobot’s Scooba robot. Now iRobot will get Evolution’s know-how in sensing, navigation, and artificial intelligence, built up over 10 years.

“It’s more about growing our capabilities — both product line and long-term R&D,” says iRobot spokeswoman Laura Jakosky. “Given our channel infrastructure and strength in global brand, we see great opportunity to take the Mint cleaners to international distribution, particularly given areas like Europe and Asia where they have predominantly hard floors. Such a wide portfolio puts us in great position against other competiti… [Read more]

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