And so it was that in 2014, after a bit of trial and error (and a foray into the robotic snow removal market), the two landed on the idea for what would soon become a groundbreaking product in the world of facilities management: a fully autonomous commercial robotic floor scrubber.
Molina and Sheikh began working on prototypes under their new company’s name, Avidbots. Before long, they took their operation to a hardware incubator in downtown Kitchener, where they worked through prototypes that leveraged existing floor cleaners, including a retrofitted floor scrubber named Scrubby.
Avidbots engineers soon discovered that the best way to create a commercial robotic floor scrubber was from the ground up, with tightly-integrated features and components. Molina and his team began seeking out the best form factors, cleaning heads, water systems, wheels, batteries, and other features to build their robot.
Several prototypes and countless late nights later, Neo was born in 2016. Now in its 8th generation of product design, the Neo commercial floor cleaning machine from Avidbots is automating cleaning tasks and freeing cleaning staff around the world to focus on more value-added and higher margin services.
The Avidbots headquarters now sits in its own 40,000-square-foot industrial manufacturing and R&D space in Kitchener, where it employs more than 140 people. Avidbots’ robotics experts form a world-class engineering team, training at leading technology institutions such as M.I.T. and the University of Waterloo.
Years after they first hatched the idea for Neo, Pablo Molina and Faizan Sheikh continue to be passionate about the future of robotics. The founders and their team at Avidbots are working hard to bring robots into the real world on an unprecedented scale in order to maximize human potential at commercial facilities across the globe.