I just noticed in FreshPatents that iRobot is patenting a "Compact Autonomous Coverage Robot", which appears to be Roomba-ish vacuum device with a flat front that can better clear in corners. Good thing, too, as the Panasonic cleaner is touted as being able to clean in corners due to its wedge-shaped design. Nice to see iRobot is looking to expand its robotic cleaning line even further.
Under the program, iRobot will make five to ten investments per year in seed to Series A companies. The size of the company’s investments would range from $100,000 to $2 million with an expected median investment size of $200,000, Angle said.
One investor familiar with the company’s plans said at that level, the firm would be looking at a fund size of roughly $25 million (using some back of the napkin math)
“There’s a lot going on in the robotics space and really the best way to understand it is to participate in it.,” says Angle. “By establishing the venture fund we’re able to go out and get to know emerging companies that are building robots and robot-related technologies and get involved in these companies.”
For more, see http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/23/the-dawn-of-our-robot-overlords-inches-closer-as-irobot-starts-vc-shop/