Product Quality & Safety

At iRobot, we put the customer first – it is at the very core of everything we do. Every year, we produce millions of Roomba and Braava floor cleaning robots that are designed to deliver a high-value cleaning experience and stand the test of time. As each successive generation of Roomba is brought to market, the bar is raised for owning a robot vacuum cleaner. For us, this means combining an unrelenting focus on innovation and performance with uncompromising attention to quality and safety. As we have grown and expanded our product portfolio, we have taken substantial steps to consistently embed quality and safety throughout our research and development, manufacturing and customer support processes. We are proud of the progress we’ve made thus far, which has enabled us to earn the trust of millions of customers and expanded our business globally.

Product Development
iRobot’s floor cleaning robots combine an advanced mobile hardware platform with state-of-the-art navigation, Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and a mobile app to deliver market-leading cleaning, sophisticated home understanding and increased personalized control over where, when and how the robots clean. The complexity and sophistication of the company’s products require ongoing investment in key hardware and software development, manufacturing and customer support processes as well as oversight to meet our own lofty expectations for time-to-market, safety, quality, durability and reliability. Our ongoing efforts to diligently monitor and elevate product quality span a wide range of activities, including those aimed at compliance with environmental and other regulatory requirements.

Whether it is with our physical or digital products, iRobot continues to evolve and enhance its product development processes including near-term and long-term roadmap activities, risk assessments of product delivery and lifecycle management. Through the implementation of new product development software, modifying the processes used for risk discovery and management, and quantitative assessments of key metrics from design through launch, we are identifying and remediating hardware issues earlier and improving overall robot performance. To reduce software-related issues prior to general availability, we are increasing the overall volume of testing at different points in the development process, automating more of these tests via simulation and other tools, and leveraging fleet-based performance metrics. Just as notable, there were no product recalls for Roomba or Braava in 2020.

Notable Results (through July 2021)

Finding software issues earlier Finding software issues earlier
Implemented new processes to guide HW and SW development. Implemented new processes to guide HW and SW development
Earlier insight into critical issues drives efficient resource allocation and faster resolutions. Earlier insight into critical issues drives efficient resource allocation and faster resolutions
New product timelines remain on track. New product timelines remain on track

Product Safety
At iRobot, product safety is paramount. Whether it is our robots, the docking stations that power them or any of our components and accessories, we strive to promote proper and safe use of our products and are actively engaged in elevating product safety. Our product safety efforts also involve eliminating, whenever possible, the use of substances and chemicals used in our products that could be hazardous to our customers or the environment. We took important steps in 2020 to intensify our focus on product safety by dedicating engineering talent and resources to refine our development practices, processes, incident tracking and reporting, and overall oversight in support of this effort. These efforts are now global in scope, leveraging the best practices from each of our regional operations.

Results (through July 2021)

Added resources exclusively focused on product safety and quality. Added resources exclusively focused on product safety and quality
Cross-functional safety board formed to prioritize product safety Cross-functional safety board formed to prioritize product safety
Product Safety Rapidly resolve customer safety inquiries and pursue opportunities for improvement
 Intergrading safety learnings into next-gen product design and development. Integrating safety learnings into next-gen product design and development

Manufacturing
We recognize that making innovative floor cleaning robots that delight millions of consumers each year requires a lot more than just a great design – it requires proven manufacturing processes capable of converting that design into the highest quality product possible at scale. Working closely with our contract manufacturers and suppliers, our operations teams work diligently to ensure that each robot leaving the factory not only meets our exacting standards but more importantly fulfills the expectations of our customers. During 2020, we took important steps to enhance our manufacturing process to drive compliance, reduce or eliminate production issues whenever possible, improve yields and standardize best practices.

Results (through July 2021)

Despite COVID- related travel restrictions, we conducted audits and site visits to suppliers and contract manufactures during 2020 and the first half of 2021. • Despite COVID- related travel restrictions, we conducted audits and site visits to suppliers and contract manufacturers during 2020 and the first half of 2021.
• Continue efforts to validate that key suppliers and contract manufacturers adhere to iRobot's General Quality Requirements and General Environmental and Regulatory Requirements
Working collaboratively with contract manufactures and suppliers to build quality into the manufacturing process. • Working collaboratively with contract manufacturers and suppliers to build quality into the manufacturing process
• Tracking quality consistently throughout the entire production process
• Automating manual processes
• Identifying detects earlier in the process while determining root cause
Applying learning from product-specific issues are avert similar recurrence on other Roomba and Braava models. • Applying learnings from product-specific issues are avert similar recurrence on other Roomba and Braava models
• Dozens of projects underway to elevate product quality
• 10 consecutive years of improvement in annual return rates

Customer Care
We believe that a happy iRobot customer is far more likely to transact directly with us and with greater frequency over the lifetime of their ownership of our products. Just as important, as loyalty to our company and products grows, our customers are more likely to recommend our products to their friends and family. As a direct connection between our products and their owners, Customer Care at iRobot recognizes the importance of every Roomba or Braava owner. During the past year, we have invested considerably within Customer Care, upgrading our tools and talent, modifying the way we triage and escalate customer inquiries, implementing new systems and processes to monitor potential quality and safety issues, and communicating proactively with customers about issues potentially affecting robot performance. We have built voice of the customer programs that put our customers at the heart of our organization, enabling us to incorporate customer feedback into our decision-making processes and prioritize our product enhancement roadmaps.

Results (through July 2021)

Increased Frequency and Transparency of Customer Communications. Increased Frequency and Transparency of Customer Communications
Customer Satisfaction Rating +17% since January 2021. Customer Satisfaction Rating +17% since January 2021
4-star and 5-star ratings on the rise, 1-star rating declining. 4-star and 5-star ratings on the rise, 1-star ratings declining
Voice of the Customer programs integrated into decision making and product roadmaps. Voice of the Customer programs integrated into decision making and product roadmaps