Suit back up, iRobot
This obviously isn't iRobot's first naval enlistment. The company has delivered its state-of-the-art combat automatons to the Navy many, many, many times over the past two years. That brings the total naval orders to $66 million so far. The contract calls for as much as $264 million in iRobot orders through 2012.
Yes, the same company that makes the Roomba that is sucking up the dirt off your carpet and the Scooba that is scrubbing your hardwood is also saving lives overseas. In the war-torn Middle East where roadside bombs are common, the PackBot is there to clear the way.
iRobot isn't the biggest name in defense. Most investors would think of larger contractors like Lockheed Martin
However, I don't see it that way. I would much rather put my money on smaller companies that are bringing new technologies to the battlefield that will win over local constituencies by sparing human casualties. iRobot is a company like that. Unmanned aircraft maker AeroVironment
That made iRobot an easy recommendation for me in the Rule Breakers newsletter service, even if the stock has fallen well off its original $24 IPO price tag.
In that sense, this may be the ideal buying opportunity. The company continues to grow with its consumer robotics products. Clearly its robots are wanted on the battlefield. You also have the company's commitment to enter a third category later this year.
Can that third category be a BullBot that eradicates bearishness and sends short sellers scrambling? Alas, one can only hope.
Feel like a Rule Breaker now, do you? Check out David Gardner's growth stock newsletter as part of a free 30-day trial subscription to see if cool stocks like iRobot belong in your portfolio.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of iRobot, but he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.