Making Affordable Robots From iRobot Founder

Rodney Brooks is a co-founder of iRobots and has started other robot companies. Lex Friedman interviewed Rodney about how to make popular robots. iRobot Roomba came out in 2002 and has been the only high volume robot if hobbyist and enterprise drones are excluded.

Rodney thinks the Baxter Robot could have had more success if they had kept to a $3000-5000 price target.

iRobot was founded in 1990 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists with the vision of making practical robots a reality, iRobot has sold more than 30 million robots worldwide. They introduced the first practical home robot with Roomba, automating home vacuuming.

They developed some of the world’s most important robots. Its robots have revealed mysteries of the Great Pyramid of Giza, found harmful subsea oil in the Gulf of Mexico, and saved thousands of lives in areas of conflict and crisis around the globe. iRobot inspired the first Micro Rovers used by NASA, changing space travel forever, deployed the first ground robots used by U.S. Forces in conflict, brought the first self-navigating FDA-approved remote presence robots to hospitals.

iRobot revenue for the second quarter of 2021 was $365.6 million, an increase of 31% from $279.9 million in the second quarter of 2020. The growth primarily reflected healthy demand from retailers in North America and from the company’s retail and distribution partners in EMEA. Revenue for the first half of 2021 was $668.9 million versus $472.4 million in the first half of 2020.

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