The engineers at iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) are working on the wrong machines. Yes, they've got much-hyped remote-control trucks that can grab bombs. And they've also got nifty little vacuum cleaners that work while you're away.

But what they really need is a time machine. See, they need to head out to the future to find out if their company will ever be cash-flow profitable, and more importantly, if it will be profitable enough to make the current valuation worthwhile.

To judge by today's guidance (for a next-year pre-tax net profit of $2 million-$4 million!), the answer seems to be "nope." That is, unless you think paying 130 times next year's median profit estimate is a good idea.

There's an awful lot of hype about iRobot as a company leading us into the brave new world. Sounds way too much like what I heard about dozens of nosebleed-valued companies back in 2000.

Investing isn't just about ideas. It's about ideas that will pay out for shareholders.

Comments? Bring them here.

At the time of publication, Seth Jayson had no positions in any company mentioned here. See his latest blog commentary here. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. iRobot is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Fool rules are here.