News Archive: September 2012

iRobot acquires Evolution Robotics

Evolution Robotics Mint Plus with Northstar navigation cube

iRobot Corp, has announced yesterday that it acquires Evolution Robotics, Inc., the developer of Mint and Mint Plus floor sweeping and mopping robots.The ~$74 million deal will provide access for iRobot to all the technologies and intellectual properties of Evolution Robotics in future developments, while existing Mint products will enrich iRobot's floor care robot portfolio. Paolo Pirjanian, CEO of Evolution Robotics will also join the iRobot team as Chief Technology Office.

Video: LG Hom-Bot Square

"This is a beautiful, but sad story of the last dust in the dark corner..."

More about the LG Hom-Bot Square in our IFA report

Ecovacs Famibot S586

Evovacs Famibot S586

Ecovacs has expanded its product portfolio with yet another home robot. Ecovacs Famibot is a home security and home automation robot that can keep an eye on the house while we are away and it is able to transmit live video with sound to any network connected smart phone. The robot itself and other household appliances like air conditioners or lights can be controlled remotely through the internet. Famibot also doubles as a security guard. Its sensors can detect burglary or smoke in the house and can alert the owner of the unexpected situation instantly.

Future technologies at iRobot

iRobot booth at IFA

Although I have seen some of the new robots the night before the opening of IFA, I still went to see what iRobot had on display this year. They almost had everything that they currently have in production from Roombas to Seagliders. Of course the demo tables were filled with working 600 and 700 series Roombas and the two Scooba models, but I've also seen the new Looj gutter cleaner robot as well. iRobot is planning to bring the Looj product line to Europe next year, so I guess it was time to show it to local customers.

Ecovacs Winbot 7

Evovacs Winbot 7

In January at CES Ecovacs demonstrated their window cleaning robot, the Winbot. Just like the original window cleaner the Windoro, Winbot was also a two unit cleaner that worked in pairs, one on each sides of the windows. In Las Vegas, Ecovacs representatives hinted that they are working on a single unit version that can clean the window without having a matching unit on the opposite side. Although they promised to have it ready only in the second half of 2013, it was ready to be demonstrated here at IFA.

Windoro 2nd generation

Windoro booth at IFA 2012

In January this year, at CES I have heard about the second generation of the robot, and only a few months later it was ready for some demonstrations. Engineers have redesigned the user interface for easier operation. The new outer design looks a lot more like a regular home appliance than an industrial cleaner. The new lithium-polymer batteries can be charged faster and last longer on a single charge than the lithium-ion batteries of the current generation.

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