Before iRobot's Roomba, there was Rosie. The iconic, robotic housekeeper from the 1960s cartoon TV show "The Jetsons" was not a vacuum. Nonetheless, she'd tidy up the house, leaving her human owners free to do other things.
That idea was distilled into the Roomba, by Massachusetts-based iRobot in 2002. The $199.95 device automatically vacuumed floors for owners. The company later expanded the personal robot line to include a model to wash floors, as well as skim pools and gutters. All told, iRobot now says it's sold more than 6 million home robots, with the Roomba being the most popular model.
August 29, 2011 3:59 AM PDT
Photo by: Hanna-Barbera
| Caption by: Josh Lowensohn
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