|Founders||Joe Augenbraun, Linda Pouliot and JB Gomez|
|Headquarters||San Jose, California|
|Thomas Nedder, CEO|
Number of employees
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.
Neato was founded in Newark, California in 2005 by Stanford alumni Joe Augenbraun, Linda Pouliot and JB Gomez through Stanford's annual Entrepreneur Challenge.
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. In June, the company released the XV-15, a European version of the XV-11. In October, the company produced a white version of the XV-15 called SV-12.
In 2012, Neato Robotics released the Neato XV-21, incorporating some features previously available on the Vorwerk Kobold.
In 2013, venture capitalist and former Logitech co-founder Giacomo Marini was named company CEO. In March, the company announced new black models Signature XV and Signature Pro, with increased extraction power.
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.
In May 2015, the company released its more powerful Botvac D series. In September, the company released its Botvac Connected cleaner, the first robotic vacuum to feature Wi-Fi. The Connected series also replaced the NiMh battery with a lithium ion, and added a phone app.
In September 2017, the company was purchased by German appliance manufacturer Vorwerk, but continued to operate as an independent subsidiary.
On January 1, 2018, Matt Petersen was named CEO.
In September 2019, Thomas Nedder became the company's CEO.
In March 2020, the company relocated its headquarters to a larger office in San Jose, California.
Neato robot vacuums are known for their D shape, which allows them to vacuum corners.
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. Its vacuums were reportedly the first to use LiDAR, to enable photographic mapping of rooms, and allowing operation in darkness.
The Neato robot returns to its charging base when the battery is low, and it has sensors that prevent it from falling off stairs. 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. Its newer vacuums can be controlled using a downloadable smartphone app. 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.
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), the XV-12 (white, XV-15 in Europe), XV-18 (black, aka. XV Signature), and XV-21 (purple, XV-25 in Europe).
The company's Botvac line features eight models with a white finish and different color accents depending on the model. The original Botvac models were 70e, 75, 80 and 85, and the Botvac 65 designed for Costco. The newer Botvac D series is more powerful, and includes a spiral blade brush. The models are D75, D80, and D85.
As of 2020, the company had approximately 130 employees. It is headquartered in San Jose, CA.
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