From the 10K:
Our objective is to rapidly invent, design, market and support innovative robots that will expand our leadership globally in our existing and newly addressable markets. Key elements of our strategy to achieve this objective include:
Complement Core Competencies with Strategic Alliances. Our core competencies are the design, development and marketing of robots. We rely on strategic alliances to provide complementary competencies that we integrate into our products and to enhance market access. For example, our alliance with Deere & Company allows us to integrate our robot controls, navigation and obstacle avoidance systems with rugged vehicles manufactured by Deere & Company.
Aqua Products has been in the cleaner business for more than 20 years and now does business in nearly 40 countries. An alliance with this company is another good strategic move by IRBT.
I think the company is stretched too thin. If you look at the list of all the versions of all the products the company makes, it is too long for this size of company. I'd rather see them concentrate on Roomba, Scooba and a couple military robots until they can hit $1B sales. Selling 2000 of these and 1000 of those, working with a dozen different companies - is simply going to generate headaches, lower quality and customer service, generate supply chain bottlenecks, etc.
Branding is more important for Coke than for iRobot at this stage. A handful of world-beating robots (with ~3 price points per robot) is what they need. No more.
Key word is FOCUS.
I could be wrong!
Although I understand what you're saying, I disagree. The key is that many of the products are, under the hood, the same, and therefore are leveraging the same research for new revenue streams. Roomba, Scooba, and Dirt Dog are basically the same thing with different sucking parts. Packbot, Warrior, SUGV, also same thing, but in different sizes. Verro and R-Gator are admittedly different, but both are through partnerships and so probably took limited R&D dollars.
I'm glad to see them expand as much as possible, so long as they can do it on a reasonable budget.
Human nature as it is, I guess the modified bots would be more likely to be used to steal the purse of fellow beach goers. Or perhaps to play a prank on your room/dorm-mate. <G>
"Dimo, it is nice to have you posting regularly today,"
Thank you! Real busy lately.
"My question is, do you get the impresion this is rebranding, or is there proprietary IRBT under the hood? "
As wbjr has posted - looks rebranded - but this is interesting:
Dimo, it is nice to have you posting regularly today, I am sure the regulars appreciate your input. My question is, do you get the impresion this is rebranding, or is there proprietary IRBT under the hood? I hope i could find some more clues with a bit of web searching, but I am too tired right now (in the process of moving).
Val, if I ever become an evil villain I will buy many of your roomba treasure hunters and comb all the deserts of the world. I will gladly pay you your fare share by the way.
"Aqua Products has been in the cleaner business for more than 20 years and now does business in nearly 40 countries. An alliance with this company is another good strategic move by IRBT."
Where does it say they have made an alliance with Aqua?
I just thought of a fun/interesting robot. How about IRBT adds a metal detector to the Roomba. Then you can take it to the beach and let it hunt treasure for you! :) IRBT, I want a % of sales. :) You could also add a metal detector to the pool (underwater) bot and have it search for treasure in the Ocean. :) Even if you never found anything bigger than a silver dollar, it would be fun to dream.
"Verro is brought to market under the iRobot brand through a relationship with the Aqua Products Group companies including AquaJet LLC and Aquatron, Inc., which developed the pool-cleaning robots."