Buried inside that article is a use for iRobot's autonav technology which could be off-the-charts explosive:
"The robots have recently been given the ability to scan RFID tags so they can add asset tracking to their role. Lenchner has been developing them for a couple of years, and has published papers on them (one of which is here). As it navigates the data centre it also reads the RFID tags on the equipment and thereby locates the individual servers, storage and networking equipment quite precisely, and much more inexpensively than if one were to put RFID readers in each rack, which is the common practice today,” said Lenchner. He promised that in future the robot would be able to track assets without using any sort of tag. “This approach promises even larger cost savings, but is not yet production ready.”
Lenchner is an IBM researcher and it looks like IBM may be interested in developing asset trackers which could be of interest to thousands of companies. The comment regarding not using "any sort of tag" implies perceptual recognition which iRobot is working on. IBM could be a partner. IBM could be an acquirer. IBM could be a competitor.
Anyway you look at it, asset tracking could be a major market for iRobot using the same autonav/mapping technology they've developed for roomba and rp-vita.
Nice find and all the more reason for continuing to increase my long position in IRBT. The present is great while the future is almost unlimited for this company. My biggest fear is that it will be taken over long before fulfilling full potential.