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Needham Starts Covering iRobot With a Buy

Needham started covering iRobot (IRBT) with a buy rating, explaining that the company is a leader in the growing market of behavioral robotics.

Analyst Charlie Wolf says that behavorial robotics is forecast to grow to $50 billion over the next two decades. On the military side of the company's business, the driver of demand is the US government's plan to vastly increase the deployment of unmanned vehicles in thefighting force. iRobot is the prime contractor in the Army's Future Combat Systems initiative. On the consumer side, Wolf thinks the driver of demand will be the growing ability of robots to perform many repetitive home maintenance chores. For example, the company has sold over 1.5 million Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners. The anlayst sets a $35 target.

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