Meet Terra, the latest product line from iRobot destined to be forever known as the “Roomba for lawns.” There are worse names, of course. After all, with the Roomba line, iRobot was able do what countless startups have tried and failed before and after — introduce a truly mainstream home robot. If the Massachusetts-based hardware company is able to do the same for yard work, it will be a truly impressive feat indeed.
Like most of what iRobot does, however, work on the lawn-mowing robot has been slow and deliberate. In a closed-door meeting with the company at CES this year, CEO Colin Angle lifted the veil off of the robot. It was a kind of grand unveiling for a party of one. But first he explained why, precisely, it had taken iRobot so long to get into the space.
After all, the Terra is far from the first product to attempt to do for lawns what the Roomba has done for floors. Honda has already entered the space, along with lesser-known names like Robomow and Worx. But…