IRobot Corp., maker of the Roomba floor cleaner and other robotic devices, late Monday said that it plans to acquire privately held Evolution Robotics Inc., developer of a competing line of floor-cleaning robots.
IRobot, a publically held company based in Bedford, Mass., said it would pay about $74 million cash for the Pasadena company, which was founded at the Pasadena high-tech incubator IdeaLab in 2001.
Evolution Robotics offers a different approach to cleaning than the Roomba vacuum in that it both dusts and damp mops hard surfaces using popular cleaning cloths, such as Swiffer brand dry and wet cloths.
“Evolution Robotics’ products will expand our automated floor care offerings while its technology and intellectual property … could be deployed in future iRobot products,” said Chief Executive Colin Angle in a statement.
In addition to the well-known Roomba line, iRobot makes military robots for search, reconnaissance and bomb-disposal missions, and an unmanned underwater vehicle used by maritime researchers and military planners.
The boards of both companies have approved the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Paolo Pirjanian, Evolution Robotics’ chief executive, will join iRobot as chief technology officer and continue to work out of Pasadena.