A decade after Amazon made its first foray into robotics with its acquisition of Kiva Systems, the e-commerce giant is acquiring iRobot for $1.7 billion.
While completion of the transaction is still subject to customary closing conditions, the deal expands Amazon’s already extensive robotics portfolio. Here’s a look at the company’s robotics acquisitions and some of its investments and notable robots developed internally.
It’s impossible to talk about Amazon’s history in robotics without talking about Kiva Systems. Amazon acquired the mobile robot company in 2012 for $775 million. At the time, it was Amazon’s second-largest acquisition ever.
Kiva initially continued to provide mobile robots to its existing customers, but that quickly came to an end. And in 2015, it became Amazon Robotics. Kiva’s automated guided vehicles (AGVs) use computerized barcode stickers on the floor to navigate Amazon’s warehouses.
Amazon Robotics recently announced its first autonomous mobile robot (AMR), Proteus. It does similar tasks as the Kiva robots, but can work freely around Amazon workers instead of caged off areas.