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iRobot Innovations: The idea behind the Looj gutter cleaner

About iRobot

iRobot Corp (iRobot) is a consumer robotics product creator, developer, and marketer. The business offers vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and floor-mopping equipment.

Looj Idea and Implementation

Jim Lynch, an iRobot Senior Electrical Engineer, originated the idea of “The Looj,” a robot that cleaned gutters. The iRobot Looj was a remote-control device that removed gutter debris easily in under five minutes in simple steps. He proposed the idea to the company and it was approved. Jim led the project in a short period and “The Looj” was a success.

“It occurred to me that this was a perfect job for a robot because it fits into our company’s three criteria: dumb, dirty, and dangerous. we got the word that we had to have it out for leaf season — in September 2007, that gave us only months to get it tested, proven, and packaged — and there were only five people on the team.” – Jim Lynch.

Lynch had a reputation as an innovative and hard-working team player — and it saved the project. People came up to him and volunteered to work on the project. Jim learned project management on the job and the gutter-cleaning robot, Looj, was launched on schedule. 

Results

In 2008, ‘The Looj’ was recognized with the Best of Innovations Design and Engineering Award in the Home Appliance category.

It’s simply amazing how a simple idea like a gutter cleaner impacted human lives after its launch. It made cleaning easier and less of a chore. Encouraging a culture of ideation can help your organization in multiple ways. It can help cut costs, increase revenue, enter new market segments or simply make everyday chores easier. 

Are your employees sharing their ideas too? Do you have the right medium to capture those ideas and take them right from ideation to implementation? If you answered NO to both these questions, you should read this next – You’re an idea management software away from becoming an innovation machine.

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