iRobot Corp. acquires educational robotics developer Root Robotics

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iRobot Corp. has acquired Root Robotics, the developer of an educational robot called the Root coding robot, which teaches children as young as four years old coding and 21st century problem-solving skills.

With the addition of the Root coding robot to its product lineup, iRobot says that the acquisition of Root Robotics supports its plans to diversify its educational robot product offerings, as it continues to showcase its commitment to make robotic technology more accessible to educators, students and parents.

“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.”

A two-wheeled, mobile platform, the Root coding robot operates on flat surfaces such as tables, floors, and countertops, and vertical surfaces such as a magnetic whiteboard.

When the Root coding robot is paired with the companion mobile application, users can instruct it to do a variety of things including draw artwork, respond to touch and sound, and explore the fundamentals of robotics. The robot uses three levels of coding language, from simple graphical blocks for young children to full text coding for more advanced users.

“The Root coding robot is an incredibly powerful tool for learning to code because it intuitively scales to users' abilities,” explains Zee Dubrovsky, co-founder of Root Robotics who will now become general manager of Educational Robots at iRobot.

“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.”