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What's Next For iRobot? 88

An anonymous reader writes "Ten years since the debut of the Roomba vacuum cleaner and military PackBot, robots are mainstream but still not in every home. Meanwhile, a new generation of robotics companies is taking off. Where does that leave iRobot, the godfather of the field? With its military business taking a hit from the U.S. defense budget, the 22-year-old public company is looking to reinvent itself with new kinds of robots, including a telepresence machine for doctors and hospitals and, further down the road, inflatable robots that could be cheaper, safer, and more portable than their metallic predecessors. The question is whether these new machines will be successful enough to keep the company growing — and add to its legacy in robotics."
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What's Next For iRobot?

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  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @05:54PM (#41317553) Homepage

    Agreed. I have a roomba that rarely goes out of it's cradle. It's just not smart enough to maneuver around the dozens of obstacles in the basement here. It does OK upstairs were there is more furniture and less 'stuff' - it's great under beds and sofas - but a quiet, smarter Roomba that doesn't choke on Labrador Retriever fuzz would be another sale. I like the idea, just doesn't quite work.....

  • Re:Remind me (Score:4, Informative)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @05:54PM (#41317559)

    Should have asked about Maxim semiconductor stock price for a real "jeopardy style" research project.
    See they bought dallas semiconductor, who sold a whole line of "i-products" back when apple still meant an apple2-gs.
    The iButton was like a 256 byte (byte, not kilo or mega or giga byte, just byte) one wire interface storage device. They had a whole herd of one-wire devices. Basically the one wire was really one wire plus ground and it was kind of like sneaking power for I2C off the data bus. Thats a good research question.

    Also its a pessimistic outlook... onewire went nowhere and its pretty much gone now. Insinuating that irobot is going the way of the ibutton.

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