Neato Robotics

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Neato Robotics
IndustryRobots
Founded2005; 16 years ago (2005)
FoundersJoe Augenbraun, Linda Pouliot and JB Gomez
HeadquartersSan Jose, California
Key people
Thomas Nedder, CEO
ProductsDomestic robots
Number of employees
130 (2020)[1]
ParentVorwerk
Websitewww.neatorobotics.com

Neato Robotics is a robotics company located in San Jose, California. The company is known for its line of robotic vacuum cleaners. The company is an independent subsidiary of German appliance manufacturer Vorwerk.

History[edit]

Neato was founded in Newark, California in 2005 by Stanford alumni Joe Augenbraun, Linda Pouliot and JB Gomez through Stanford's annual Entrepreneur Challenge.[2]

In February 2010, the company released its first product, the XV-11 robotic vacuum cleaner.[1][3]

In 2011, an enhanced version of its robotic vacuum cleaner was developed under contract for German appliance maker Vorwerk's Kobold subsidiary and distributed in Germany as the Vorwerk VR-100.[4] In June, the company released the XV-15, a European version of the XV-11.[5] In October, the company produced a white version of the XV-15 called SV-12.[6]

In 2012, Neato Robotics released the Neato XV-21, incorporating some features previously available on the Vorwerk Kobold.[7]

In 2013, venture capitalist and former Logitech co-founder Giacomo Marini was named company CEO.[2] In March, the company announced new black models Signature XV and Signature Pro, with increased extraction power.[8]

In March 2014, Neato Robotics released an expanded model series named Botvac. This model incorporated a rotating side brush previously available only on the Vorwerk Kobold models in Germany.[9]

In May 2015, the company released its more powerful Botvac D series.[10] In September, the company released its Botvac Connected cleaner, the first robotic vacuum to feature Wi-Fi.[11] The Connected series also replaced the NiMh battery with a lithium ion, and added a phone app.[12]

In November 2016, the company integrated Amazon Alexa voice control technology with its Botvac Connected vacuum.[13]

In September 2017, the company was purchased by German appliance manufacturer Vorwerk, but continued to operate as an independent subsidiary.[14]

On January 1, 2018, Matt Petersen was named CEO.[15]

In September 2019, Thomas Nedder became the company's CEO.[16]

In March 2020, the company relocated its headquarters to a larger office in San Jose, California.[1]

Product description[edit]

Neato robot vacuums are known for their D shape, which allows them to vacuum corners.[16]

Neato robot vacuums travel in straight lines instead of a random pattern. The robots utilize a laser range finder that scan their surroundings in a full 360° circle, and its SLAM algorithm allow robots to map the room being vacuumed.[17] Its vacuums were reportedly the first to use LiDAR, to enable photographic mapping of rooms, and allowing operation in darkness.[16]

The Neato robot returns to its charging base when the battery is low, and it has sensors that prevent it from falling off stairs.[18] In case the robot is used in a floorplan larger than it can cover with one battery charge, the robot is able to continue cleaning from where it left off the previous session, after recharging its batteries.

The company's Botvac Connected series includes Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT technology, supporting voice controls.[19][13] Its newer vacuums can be controlled using a downloadable smartphone app.[19] The features of Neato robot vacuums can be upgraded by owners by changing the firmware, using a USB connector or wirelessly, depending on the model.[20][21]

Newer vacuums are powered with lithium ion batteries, and the older versions feature rechargeable nickel–metal hydride (NiMh) batteries.[11]

Models[edit]

Neato's nineteen different models of robotic vacuums are grouped into three groups: the XV series, Botvac, and Botvac Connected.

The XV series is Neato's older models, with different model numbers for different colors. There are six versions: the original XV-11 (green),[1] the XV-12 (white, XV-15 in Europe),[6][5] XV-18 (black, aka. XV Signature),[citation needed] and XV-21 (purple, XV-25 in Europe).[7]

The company's Botvac line features eight models with a white finish and different color accents depending on the model.[9] The original Botvac models were 70e, 75, 80 and 85,[9] and the Botvac 65 designed for Costco.[citation needed] The newer Botvac D series is more powerful, and includes a spiral blade brush. The models are D75, D80, and D85.[10]

The company's newest line is the Botvac Connected series, which includes Wi-Fi connectivity, a phone app and Lithium ion batteries. The five models are the D3, D4, D5, D6 and D7.[11][22][23]

Operations[edit]

As of 2020, the company had approximately 130 employees.[1] It is headquartered in San Jose, CA.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "iRobot competitor Neato Robotics moving HQ to San Jose". Silicon Valley Business Journal. July 9, 2020. Retrieved March 12, 2021.(subscription required)
  2. ^ a b "Neato Robotics Machines Are Coming To Clean Up After Dinner". The Spoon. August 12, 2017. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  3. ^ "Neato XV-11 robotic vacuum review". Engadget. August 24, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  4. ^ "Vorwerk Kobold VR100". Saugrobot (in German). Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Neato XV-15 Robot Vacuum Review". SlashGear. June 27, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Neato robotics XV-12 robot vacuum heads to Target in white". SlashGear. October 11, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Neato XV-21 review". CNET. February 28, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  8. ^ "AROUND THE HOME: Neato Robotics announces more powerful XV Signature Series robot vacs". New Atlas. March 6, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  9. ^ a b c "Neato announces new BotVac line of robot vacuums". CNET. March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Neato robot vacuums get better brushes for your filthy floor". Yahoo Finance. May 27, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  11. ^ a b c "Neato Robotics' new Botvac Connected robot vacuum sports lasers and Wi-Fi". TechHive. September 1, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  12. ^ "Neato announces new BotVac line of robot vacuums". CNET. March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  13. ^ a b "Alexa can now clean a floor with Neato's robot vacuum". TechCrunch. November 23, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  14. ^ Takahashi, Dean (September 20, 2017). "Vorwerk acquires home robot vacuum maker Neato Robotics". VentureBeat. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  15. ^ "Neato Robotics names new CEO". HBS Dealer. 20 September 2017.
  16. ^ a b c "The Household Companion of the Future". Dealerscope. July 9, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2021.(subscription required)
  17. ^ "Neato XV-11 robotic vacuum review". Engadget. August 24, 2010. Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  18. ^ "Suck it up! Neato Is Ready to Kick Robot Vacuum Butt". Singularity Hub. February 9, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  19. ^ a b "Neato Botvac D7 Connected Review". PCMag. March 20, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  20. ^ "Neato XV-11 Update: Your Vacuum Just Got Smarter". IEEE Spectrum. August 10, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  21. ^ "Neato Botvac D7 Connected review: Building a better (but more expensive) mousetrap". TechHive. December 6, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  22. ^ "Neato fills out vacuum lineup with nods to value seekers, pet owners". CNET. August 31, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  23. ^ "Neato Botvac D3 and D5 details: covering all bases". SlashGear. September 1, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2021.

External links[edit]

Official website