iRobot Acquires Root Robotics to Boost STEM Education for Kids

IEEE Spectrum

Root promises to teach coding skills to children, starting as young as 4 years old

In 2016, Harvard’s Wyss Institute introduced Root, a robot designed as a practical tool for teaching kids how to code. Root had been under development at Harvard for a solid three years at that point, and after a massive $400,000 Kickstarter showed that they really had something, Root Robotics was spun out in 2017 to take the little coding robot commercial.

Today, iRobot is announcing the acquisition of Root Robotics, in order to “support iRobot’s plans to diversify its educational robot product offerings, further demonstrating its commitment to make robotic technology more accessible to educators, students and parents.” This makes a lot of sense for iRobot, which has historically been a big supporter of STEM education—National Robotics Week was pretty much their idea, after all. But iRobot itself only really had the iRobot Create and Create 2 to advance STEM education directly, and those robots are really not for beginners.

As of right now, iRobot is selling Root for $200, along with a companion app and integrated K-12 curriculum. We’ll take a quick look at everything this robot can do, and hear a bit from both iRobot CEO Colin Angle and Root Robotics co-founder Zee Dubrovsky on exactly what this new partnership means. 

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