Giacomo Marini isn’t afraid of the robot future – in fact, the company he leads is betting on it. Neato Robotics was founded by Standford alums Joe Augenbraun, Linda Pouliot and JB Gomez through the Stanford Entrepreneur Challenge and officially launched in 2010. The idea behind the company – that robots are just as capable of performing chores as humans – Neato has been working to develop advanced robotic technology for for vaccums in order to alleviate the stress and drain of modern life.
Neato has enjoyed success as a startup against rivals like Roomba and they have a heavy focus on intelligence and proprietary technology to create a self-cleaning vacuum with the smarts of a self-driving car. In fact, the company is the first and only group making robot vacuums with laser SLAM technology, best known for its use in the Google self-driving car, to map and navigate. Marini claims this technology is uniquely suited for indoor navigation and allows the robots to operate with precision in the dark.
Robotics and machine learning are two hot areas in Silicon Valley at the moment – and Marini is no stranger to success in the tech mecca. A co-founder of Logitech, Marini was part of the team that moved the Swiss-based company to Palo Alto in the early 1980s and credits much of the computer accessory company’s growth to that move. Marini went on to stay in Silicon Valley and run a venture capital firm and eventually join Neato as CEO in 2013.
Neato sees their vacuums playing an important role in making the clean up after meal prep and dinner much simpler. “Gone are the days when spilling flower on the floor while you cook would mean hauling out the heavy upright vacuum,” adds Marini. “Now you can simply use your voice to tell your Google Home or Amazon Alexa to start your Neato for you.” Neato recently added chatbot functionality for Facebook, jumping on another trend of using chatbots to control our homes – meaning you…