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Kerry Tours iRobot Facility in Massachusetts

by Pamela Leavey

On Monday, March 27th, John Kerry visited iRobot Corp. in Burlington, Mass. iRobot is a woman-led business success story:

Co-founder Helen Greiner developed the robotic technology that not only helps keeps households clean with a hands-free vacuum, but also saves lives with robots used by the military to explore dangerous territory. In 2002, Greiner received millions of dollars in venture capital thanks to the business counseling assistance she received from organizations such as Boston’s Center for Women Enterprise.

Programs such as this are critical to expanding the number of successful women entrepreneurs around the country. Today, iRobot is a leader in its field with more than 1.5 million Roomba Vacuuming Robots sold since 2002 and more than 300 PackBot robots protecting U.S. troops. This success story is just one reason why Kerry is fighting the Bush Administration’s proposed cuts to Women’s Business Centers.

Kerry visited iRobot Corp. to congratulate employees on receiving the $26 million order from the U.S. Navy.

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are the single greatest threat to our troops in Iraq. Patrols who are sent to find these devices — most of which are concealed — are doing life-saving work, often at a tragic cost,” said Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). “The ability to send a robot, like the iRobot PackBot, to disable explosives in place of one of our sons or daughters means a life saved.”

Kerry’s tour included a look at iRobot’s latest innovations in robot technology including military robots such as the iRobot PackBot Tactical Mobile Robot, along with iRobot’s award-winning home products, the Roomba® Vacuuming Robot and Scooba(TM) Floor Washing Robot. In addition, he spoke to the group about iRobot’s status as a leader in robot technology and its impact on the local economy.

“Senator Kerry demonstrated his commitment to the Massachusetts economy and innovation by taking time from his pressing schedule to visit iRobot, see our products and meet our team,” said Helen Greiner, chairman and co-founder, iRobot. “iRobot is dedicated to developing robots that will help keep U.S. forces out of harm’s way, and we are thrilled that Senator Kerry could join us to celebrate the significant order from the U.S. Navy.”

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