BEDFORD, Mass., Feb. 21, 2012 – iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), a leader in delivering robotic technology-based solutions, has been awarded its 100th United States patent, an important attainment reflecting the company's ongoing attention to building strategic intellectual property.
The 100th U.S. patent (U.S. 8,108,092) protects robotic ‘retrotraverse’ technology, which gives the iRobot 510 PackBot® with User Assist Package (UAP) the unique capability to autonomously return to its operator should wireless communications fail. Retrotraverse technology, pioneered to keep troops out of harm’s way, is applicable to networked and wireless robots in military, commercial, healthcare and household applications. Additional pending U.S. and international patent applications are expected to protect other critical semi-autonomous capabilities provided by the UAP.
“iRobot has made significant investments to protect its intellectual property. We have been both strategic and aggressive in filing U.S. and international patent applications relating to key product features and innovations, and we have entered into partnerships that allow for the cross-licensing of product portfolios,” said Colin Angle, chairman and chief executive officer of iRobot. “These steps are important in maintaining our position as the leading publicly traded pure-play robotics company and in sustaining a long-term competitive advantage.”
On the same day iRobot was awarded the patent for ‘retrotraverse’, it was also awarded a patent covering sonar technologies for robotic telepresence, as exemplified by the iRobot Ava™ mobile robotics platform. With growing technology commonality and software re-use, iRobot's patent portfolio is increasingly cross-platform, an 'economic moat' that lends sustained competitive advantage across product lines, including the company’s home robots. Specifically, the iRobot Roomba® vacuum cleaning robot is covered by more than 30 U.S. patents. iRobot also holds 108 foreign patents and continues to pursue more than 250 patent applications pending worldwide.
More than 7.5 million iRobot home robots have been sold, revolutionizing the way people clean their homes. The company has also delivered more than 4,500 life-saving robots to military and civil defense forces worldwide.
About iRobot Corp.
iRobot designs and builds robots that make a difference. The company’s home robots help people find smarter ways to clean, and its government and industrial robots protect those in harm’s way. iRobot’s consumer and military robots feature iRobot Aware® robot intelligence systems, proprietary technology incorporating advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence. For more information about iRobot, please visit www.irobot.com.
For iRobot Investors
Certain statements made in this press release that are not based on historical information are forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This press release contains express or implied forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, iRobot Corp.’s expectations concerning management's plans, objectives and strategies. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. iRobot Corp. undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise. For additional disclosure regarding these and other risks faced by iRobot Corp., see the disclosure contained in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including, without limitation, our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K.