Boston Tech Watch: iRobot, Jibo, Ogin, WiTricity, Spyce, Cayan

With the holidays upon us, it’s time to take a quick look at some of the year’s final headlines from the Boston-area tech scene:

—Cayan, a Boston-based payments technology company, agreed to be acquired by Columbus, GA-based TSYS (NYSE: TSS) in a $1.05 billion all-cash deal. Cayan is currently owned by Parthenon Capital Partners.

—Jibo, the Boston-based “social robotics” startup, has laid off an unspecified number of employees, BostInno reported. The move comes just a few weeks after the company began shipping its device to consumers. A spokeswoman told BostInno the layoffs were made to adjust focus and dedicate resources to adding more capabilities to the robot.

—Mercury Systems (NASDAQ: MRCY), an Andover, MA-based company that sells sensors and other technologies to the military, said it signed an agreement to purchase Fremont, CA-based Themis Computer for $180 million in cash.

—Halo Energy—a new startup led by former employees of the now-defunct renewable energy company Ogin—acquired wind turbine technology developed by Ogin. Somerville, MA-based Halo intends to incorporate the tech in its planned wind turbines, a compact system intended for installation on telecommunications towers, offshore oil and gas rigs, mobile power stations, and industrial facilities, according to a press release.

Ogin went into receivership and put its assets up for sale in the spring, the Boston Globe reported. The company, formerly known as FloDesign Wind Turbine, had raised more than $150 million in venture funding.

—Bedford, MA-based iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT) announced it reached a settlement with Black & Decker in a patent dispute. Black & Decker agreed to stop selling its home robotic vacuums “for a certain period of time” after it sells its existing inventory, while iRobot agreed to stop pursuing legal action against Black & Decker on this matter. The rest of the terms of the agreement are being kept confidential.

Spyce, the MIT-born startup that has developed robotic systems that serve up freshly prepared meals, is opening a restaurant in downtown Boston with chef Daniel Boulud that will feature a new “robotic kitchen.” The news was first reported by Eater.

—The Boston Globe has an update on WiTricity, the Watertown, MA-based wireless charging technology developer, which reportedly downsized in 2017 and refocused on selling its tech to the automotive sector.

Jeff Engel is Deputy Editor, Tech at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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