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Roomba maker wants to sell its mapping data to tech giant

Tyrone Stewart

RoombaiRobot, the company behind the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, has hopes that it can one day sell its indoor mapping data to one of the big boys like Amazon, Apple or Google.

The data in question relates to the dimensions of a room as well as the distances between pieces of furniture – data that will be key to drive forward with the idea of fully-connected smart homes.

Speaking to Reuters, iRobot CEO Colin Angle said: “There's an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared.”

Amazon, Apple and Google are said to be very keen on the vision that iRobot has for the smart home but have yet to comment on the potential of purchasing the mapping data available from iRobot’s cleaning devices.

iRobot made the Roomba compatible with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant in March, so the eCommerce giant may be front of the queue when it comes to any deal regarding the mapping data.

In the meantime, iRobot has signed an agreement to acquire Robopolis, its largest European distributor. The deal follows iRobot’s recent acquisition of its distributor in Japan.

Furthermore, SoftBank has reportedly taken a stake in the robotics firm. The stake is said to be less than five per cent, according to Bloomberg. It adds to a busy period for SoftBank in terms of investment – both for the company itself and through its Vision Fund.