Colin Angle is the chairman and CEO of iRobot, a robot development company known as the cleaning robot Roomba. On January 30th, he emphasized the company history of iRobot on the 30th anniversary of iRobot. The iRobot business has suffered twists and turns, such as introducing military robots such as the Rumba series and fatbots, which are flagship products.
He talked about the challenges of building a business model for the 30th anniversary. When iRobot was founded in 1990, the robot industry did not exist. Chairman Angle said that no one was trying to tackle difficult problems such as spatial exploration, speech recognition, and system vision. In addition, when actually starting such a project, there were unexpected problems, Angle said. At the time of launching the Roomba, iRobot said that it saw customers start a cleaning robot once a week, and did not think of operating a cleaning robot every day.
However, the actual frequency of use was higher than expected, and the first-generation Roomba broke down two years earlier than predicted by iRobot. He says he has learned from this failure that reverse logistics and generous returns policies are important to business. It is also pointed out that the reliability of the consumer’s robot was also a problem. Consumers who are opposed to buying a robot claim that they are about to buy a robot because they cannot be sure that the robot will work.
He says that a good business model is harder to build than a good robot. The robotics industry has long said it lacks good business models but has been unable to raise funds. Chairman Angle cited the business where iRobot failed, saying that it made numerous failures before establishing a sustainable business model. In the list of businesses that he said iRobot failed, he produced rovers and sent them to the moon to sell movie rights, selling research robots to colleges and universities, earning royalties with robot toys, and lesions representing arteriosclerosis in blood vessels. Developing and licensing nano-robots that remove dust, selling robots to increase oil production to the oil industry, selling nuclear power plant inspection robots, selling educational robots to art museums, and commercial floor cleaning robot licensing technology These include donation, development and sales of smart home solutions for supermarkets, sales of robot battles using location information services, sales of mine removal robots, development of robot operation systems and licenses, sales of data centers of robots that can be controlled through the Internet, and sales of agricultural robots.
Chairman Angle argues that these failures are closely related to success. For example, he said that he was able to learn the importance of large-scale production in earning royalties with robot toys, how to clean floors with robots in the granting of commercial floor cleaning robot license technology, and how to navigate in large spaces in the sale of mine removal robots.
Mr Angle said he learned the importance of expanding a business until he found the right one. When it comes to expanding, risk management is the most important thing, and great entrepreneurs are companies that can manage risk without being willing to take risks. He said the biggest achievement iRobot has accomplished over the past 30 years is to make the robot exist in everyday life. Chairman Angle explained that as a result of iRobot’s pioneering the robot industry, investors around the world have attracted attention and a lot of money has been collected. He replied that his mission is to answer questions about what he can do with robots anymore about his future prospects. Related information can be found here .