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iRobot Has Sold Off Its Military Robotics Business

The iRobot "SUGV EARLY," which stands for "small unmanned ground vehicle."Courtesy of Bob Ferguson/iRobot

Many people don’t realize that iRobot, manufacturer of the adorable Roomba house-cleaning robot, also has a big business making robots for military, public safety, and industrial use.

In fact, iRobot (IRBT) says it is the largest independent provider of ground-based robots to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Bedford, Mass. company announced on Thursday that it will sell off its Defense and Security division to Arlington Capital Partners, a Washington, D.C. private equity firm. The transaction, valued at about $45 million, will close in the coming months and will establish the division as a standalone company with Sean Bielat at the helm.

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iRobot, which reports its quarterly earnings next week, says it wants to focus on its consumer robotics business where there are “significant growth opportunities,” especially given the “potential presented by the connected smart home,” CEO Colin Angle said in a statement.

As for Arlington Capital, managing partner Peter Manos added: “We look forward to further consolidating the company’s preeminent position in robotics through organic investment and acquisitions.”