iRobot acquires STEM coding robot startup

iRobot acquires STEM coding robot startup

Business news |
By Rich Pell

The Root coding robot is offered as a fun and easy-to-use educational robot that uniquely teaches coding and 21st-century problem-solving skills to children as young as four years old. The acquisition, says iRobot, which is best known for its Roomba autonomous home vacuum cleaners, is designed to diversify its educational robot product offerings.

“The acquisition of Root Robotics allows iRobot to broaden the impact of its STEM efforts with a commercially available, educational robotic platform already being used by educators, students, and parents,” says Colin Angle, chairman and CEO of iRobot. “Root also helps increase the reach of iRobot’s educational robot line by offering a proven system for people of all ages, including students in elementary school.”

The Root coding robot is a two-wheeled, mobile platform that can operate on flat surfaces at home (such as tables, floors, and countertops) and on vertical surfaces in a classroom, like a magnetic whiteboard. When paired with the companion mobile application, users can instruct Root to draw artwork, scan colors, play music, respond to touch and sound, climb whiteboard walls, and explore the fundamentals of robotics.

Root uses three levels of coding language, from simple graphical blocks for young children to full text coding for more advanced users.

Zee Dubrovsky, co-founder of Root Robotics says, “The Root coding robot is an incredibly powerful tool for learning to code because it intuitively scales to users’ abilities. A four-year-old can begin coding Root using simple pictures and symbols that translate to robot actions. Once a child has mastered graphical coding, they can seamlessly toggle to the next two levels, which introduce hybrid coding, followed by full text coding. This scalable approach is what has been missing from other educational coding robots.”

Dubrovsky will now become general manager of Educational Robots at iRobot. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Root coding robot is available for $199.

Root Robotics

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