Neato Robotics

December 21, 2009

Tony Stentz points out:

The company “Neato” just went public with a product that competes with iRobot’s Roomba. Unlike the Roomba, which vacuums a room by driving mostly random patterns, the Neato robot uses a laser rangefinder to build a map of the floor layout, plan efficient coverage routes, and localize through registration. The ladar is the world’s cheapest: a 360-degree planar scanner with a maximum range of 7 meters, rotation rate of 10 Hz, and one measurement per degree–all for $30. The Neato robot can cover the entire floor without missing a spot or driving a patch more than once. When its battery runs low, it returns to the charging station and then resumes where it left off–all without human intervention. Look out iRobot….

But here’s the neato part: our own Boris Sofman wrote large parts of the coverage planner, path planner, map builder, and controller software when he took a seven-month leave of absence.

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