Disruptive Forces: iRobot

By Chris Gonsalves  |  Posted 2008-03-27 Print this article Print


Location: Burlington, Mass.

CEO: Colin Angle

Revenues: $188.9 million

What they do: The company builds robotic devices that perform a variety of military, commercial and domestic chores.

Disruptive qualities: The Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner offers a completely new way to clean your home, but it’s iRobot’s military applications that may prove its biggest game changers. Earlier this year, the U.S. Army bought 3,000 “warbots” for $286 million.

The tech that makes them tick: iRobot’s Create platform gives outside developers access to the Roomba brain, allowing them to write programs for autonomous operations using C and C++, as well as through Microsoft’s Robotics Studio. The company is using all that innovative energy to develop new bomb-sniffers, grass-cutters and the super-cool Looj gutter-cleaner.

Who they are disrupting: The main impact is felt by maids, soldiers and M*A*S*H units.

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