iRobot Corporation announced today the first multi-purpose domestic robot that can be controlled through a web browser from anywhere in the world. This revolutionary product, called the iRobot-LE™, gives its owners on-demand remote eyes and ears into their homes. With this roving telepresence capability, owners can drive around their home making sure it is secure, say goodnight to kids when away on business, check up on pets, and visit with elderly or house-bound relatives and friends.
"The iRobot-LE lets busy professionals be in two places at the same time," says Helen Greiner, President and co-founder of iRobot. "You control your iRobot-LE over the Internet and see video and hear audio from the iRobot-LE on your computer. You can wander your home in Boston while sitting behind your laptop in San Francisco. You can visit your kids and check up on their nanny -- seeing what's going on in your house in realtime provides peace of mind."
The iRobot-LE goes anywhere a person can comfortably walk. Using Surefoot™ Stairclimbing Technology, the iRobot-LE can go up and down stairs unassisted. The robot avoids objects using advanced sensor and signal processing technology -- if you tell it to run into a wall, it's smart enough not to. As the iRobot-LE explores its home, its sophisticated artificial intelligence allows it to learn the layout and build a floor plan that it uses to navigate. A person controlling the iRobot-LE through a web browser can participate in conversations over the Internet. The robot's camera can be turned to address people and to look at people as they talk. If there's something more interesting happening in another direction, the iRobot-LE can be instructed to drive over there.
The iRobot-LE is powered by iRobot Aware™ Robot Control Software running on a Pentium II class processor with an Apache-SSL web server and Linux Operating System. Priced about the same as a high-end notebook computer, the iRobot-LE is a fully functional mobile computer.
"The iRobot-LE takes the Internet beyond the Web to the next level -- no longer is the Internet just for the exchange of information. Now it lets you really travel around the world, and drop in on friends, business acquaintances, check in at home, or visit an exotic locale, from any Web browser anywhere in the world," says Prof. Rodney Brooks, Director of the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT, Chairman, and co-founder of iRobot. "This remote presence technology goes beyond chat rooms, e-mail, and way beyond teleconferencing to bring people together. iRobot technology will change the way we perceive time and distance making the world a truly global village."
The iRobot-Le is featured in the September 2000 issue of Wired Magazine. About iRobot
iRobot is a leading provider of mobile robots and is actively developing robots for the consumer market. Considered one of the world's leading robotics R&D labs, iRobot is also building the next generation of robots under contract with DARPA. Named by Fortune magazine as one of the Top 25 Coolest Companies, its creations have graced the covers of Scientific American, National Geographic, and Popular Science and are often seen on the Discovery Channel. iRobot is also a technology partner for Hasbro, a worldwide leader in children's toys and games. Acer Technology Venture Fund L.P. and First Albany Companies, Inc are two of the principal outside investors in iRobot, a privately held company. iRobot, iRobot-LE, Aware, and Surefoot are trademarks of iRobot Corporation. For more information, please visit: http://www.irobot.com/.
SOURCE: iRobot Corporation
Contact: Jeff Ostaszewski of iRobot Corporation, 617-629-0055, ext. 272