Neo the Futuristic Commercial Cleaning Robot

Avidbots brings commercial cleaning into the future with Neo, a floor-cleaning robot.

There might be some people that enjoy scrubbing floors, but for many people, it’s a task that can easily make the mind wander to images of futuristic robots doing all the work. For homeowners, that daydream hasn’t quite come to fruition, but it has become a reality for commercial property owners.

Robotics company Avidbots, which was founded in 2014, has made giant leaps in bringing robots into the real word. According to the company, its flagship robot, Neo, is “a purpose-built, floor-scrubbing robot that integrates state-of-the-art navigation technology with hardware designed for ease of use, longevity, serviceability, safety and high productivity.”

Avidbots founders, from left, Faizan Sheikh and Pablo Molina with Neo, a commercial floor-cleaning robot. (Image courtesy of Avidbots.)

Avidbots founders, from left, Faizan Sheikh and Pablo Molina with Neo, a commercial floor-cleaning robot. (Image courtesy of Avidbots.)

Neo isn’t just a cleaning machine. It is supported by an easy-to-use web portal that provides real-time and historical reporting and remote troubleshooting, which offers greater visibility into operations for cleaning teams.

“We’re a robotics company first,” said Cameron Waite, director of sales. “We’re not a big cleaning company that’s trying to figure out robotics. We give the intelligence to the system. We allow it to make its own decisions to move through the space.”

Neo, an autonomous robot designed to clean large hard-surface areas safely, learns about its environment and adjust to changes. In an initial walk through with a human, Neo scans the layout of the environment and creates a map. If an obstacle pops up, such as a temporary display or booth in the scanned area, Neo simply reroutes. If that obstacle moves, the robot will sense the open space has returned and go back to cleaning the area. Its intelligence can benefit customers by improving efficiency and productivity and can ease issues with labor costs or low-employment markets.

Neo seems to be proving its worth. Avidbots’ robots are being used on five continents in an array of locations, including airports, hospitals, shopping malls and manufacturing facilities. High sales created the need for more space. The company recently relocated to a space with two units totaling around 40,000 square feet and now boasts approximately 100 full-time employees.

There doesn’t seem to be any signs of slowing down, either. The company, which actually formed with the idea to explore snow-clearing robotics, plans to develop a robot for carpet cleaning and explore additional uses for its robots and the data they collect.

“We are working on making it even smarter,” said Pablo Molina, co-founder and chief technology officer.

Interested in more robotic innovations? Check out Meet the Swiss Army Knife of Search and Rescue Robots and Pipe-Crawling Robot Measures Radiation in Nuclear Facilities.