In its quarterly earnings today, iRobot announced an indefinite stall of its lawnmowing robot, Terra. The Roomba maker has abandoned plans to launch to the long-awaited home robot in 2020.
No surprise, the company says fallout from the COVID-1 9 pandemic is to blame for the uncertainty. More specific, it condemns “current market realities.” Here’s the statement a spokeswoman for the company sent to TechCrunch 😛 TAGEND
Like many other consumer and technology fellowships, the COVID-1 9 pandemic has impacted iRobot, involving a reprioritization of go-to-market contrives and commodity development initiatives. As a consequence of current busines actualities, it has become necessary for the company to suspend its planned 2020 commercial-grade propel of the Terra robot mower and to increase focus on its core business and other strategic priorities. iRobot still believes there is great potential for robot mowers, and while it is suspending its Terra launch for now, it will reassess options for launching it when the time is right. This decision will help ensure iRobot emerges from this downturn as a stronger company better positioned to extend its leadership position in buyer robotics and give sustained, rewarding growth.
It’s hard to say how much of this has to do with world-wide give chain issues and how much is simply a perceived shortfall of ask. COVID-1 9 has led to an increased interest in automation, as robotics and AI can go a ways toward limiting human contact and thus the key sicknes vector. But with more beings spending a lot more time at home, a concoction likely to cost around $1,000 may not be where people are looking to invest their stimulus money.
The “reprioritization” could be an interesting bit of revelation into a company that spun off its own telepresence robot, Ava, a few years back. Perhaps the crisis is causing the company to explore different avenues that could be useful as beings adjust to the realities of remote learning, long term.
The company didn’t provide comments on specifics beyond this, but this manner of indefinite shelve isn’t a great sign for their next big-hearted thing, even if a pandemic is ultimately to blame here.