iRobot, the maker of the widely popular and innovated Roomba vacuum cleaner, has made some big announcement this week. The company wants to sell Smart Home data to some of the tech industry’s biggest companies.

According to TechCrunch, the company is keen on reaching a deal to sell its mapping data to the three tech giants, Apple, Amazon, and Google. The company has said that it's made its Roomba vacuum cleaner compatible with Amazon Alexa and CEO Colin Angel believes that Roomba’s data could provide those tech giants with much-needed data from the smart home.

iRobot: A close look at the smart home specialist

Founded in 1990 and based in Bedford, Massachusetts, iRobot is an advanced technology company that been founded by MIT graduates who designed robots for military and space explorations. The company develops and sells consumer robots that can be used for home. These include the floor moppers Braava, an autonomous home vacuum cleaner Roomba and other autonomous cleaning devices.

The company has managed to sell more than 8 million smart devices and has deployed around 5,000 security-related robots. Aside from developing security-related robots, the company also developed robots that can be used to gather data in the extremely dangerous environment such as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In addition to the Roomba vacuum cleaner and other smart home devices, iRobot is also known for its autonomous underwater vehicle Seaglider and PackBots, a series of military robots designed for situational awareness and reconnaissance missions.

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CEO Colin Angle defended the company's plans and talks more about the privacy issues

iRobot's CEO Colin Angle has made some good discussion about his company’s plans to sell smart home data to the big three tech companies, Apple, Amazon, and Google. However, a recent interview with Reuters has raised some serious challenges, including privacy issues.

However, in a recent with TechCrunch, Angle did explain more about the company’s plans. Angle said that the planned data mapping is still opt-in. Angle claimed that his company takes privacy and security very seriously. He also added that his company will always ask permission when collecting and storing map data. But the CEO won’t detail how that opt-in would take place.

Other iRobot-related news

The Japanese telecommunications and internet corporation Softbank Group announced that it had taken a significant stake in the Massachusetts-based Roomba vacuum maker, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

The Japanese giant has built its less than 5 percent holdings in the American robotics firm, which reportedly has a market value of around $2.4 billion.

This is the first time Softbank has made some investment in the robotics space. The Japanese giant has been snatching robotic firms this year with its technology-focused investment arm Vision Fund.

Last month, Softbank announced plans to buy Alphabet’s Boston Dynamics for an undisclosed amount. And just earlier this month, the group’s Vision Fund has led a $114 million investment in a San Diego-based AI-focused firm Brain Corp., which reportedly develops self-driving tech for the robotic industry.