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Robotics Startup Partners With Cushman & Wakefield

Robotics Startup Partners With Cushman & Wakefield
10 May 2021 | Updated 13 May 2021
 

ViaBot has announced its public launch with $6.1 million in funding, and a strategic partnership with Cushman & Wakefield.

ViaBot is a robotics startup that provides autonomous sweeping and security for large properties, and its RUNO robots have been deployed by Cushman & Wakefield to properties in the Bay Area for sweeping and security services.

"We pride ourselves on maintaining pristine, sustainable, friendly environments across our portfolio," said Andrew Rivlin, Sustainable Environments & Habitats Manager at Cushman & Wakefield.

"We're excited by ViaBot's vision to help digitize property management and the fact that RUNO takes on more challenging aspects of our operations while also increasing cadence and output through automation and multitasking. Partnering with ViaBot has been a refreshing and fun aspect in my day-to-day."

 

"We founded ViaBot with a mission to address the dirty, dull and dangerous jobs of outdoor work, and we're thrilled that our multifunctional robots are offering better solutions to the challenges facing property managers today."

–Gregg Ratanaphanyarat

CEO and Co-Founder, ViaBot

 

Outdoor Maintenance

 

Headquartered in San Francisco, ViaBot was founded by Gregg Ratanaphanyarat and Andre Ding in 2016, while both were undergraduate students at Penn State University. They observed that outdoor maintenance for consumers and commercial property managers alike was a yearlong problem — one that would seemingly be ideally suited to robotics.

 

Image

 

Yet outdoor maintenance has historically been underserved by the robotics industry. Developers typically focus on just one problem area, avoiding the so-called Swiss Army knife problem, but to be commercially viable, building managers need multiple services. ViaBot takes a modular approach to overcome this tension, addressing multiple needs through its first-of-its-kind facility maintenance and management robot-as-a-service.

"We founded ViaBot with a mission to address the dirty, dull and dangerous jobs of outdoor work, and we're thrilled that our multifunctional robots are offering better solutions to the challenges facing property managers today," said Gregg Ratanaphanyarat, CEO and Co-Founder of ViaBot.

 

Sensors to Scan for Suspicious Behaviour 

 

RUNO is designed to clean and automatically dump its debris as well as autonomous battery hot-swapping. At the same time it performs this work, it's also able to do soft security monitoring, a program currently in beta. RUNO's built-in sensors scan and escalate suspicious activity to security teams; for example, if a car has been parked in the same place for several days, it will trip RUNO's flags. The robots have multiple cameras and sonar sensors and use GPS to help navigate.

The robots also leverage the Yolo image network, training the system to identify objects that should be recycled.

"In just a few short years, the ViaBot team has countered the prevailing narrative in robotics, showing that robots can in fact evolve and perform more than a single function — and therefore better meet the needs of the properties and communities they serve," said Steve Anderson, Founder of Baseline Ventures.

"Gregg and Andre have been building robots for most of their lives and have the rare ability to build and iterate while also orienting toward greater impact. We're confident that this team has the potential to scale to serve millions of properties across the country in new and better ways."

ViaBot is backed by Baseline Ventures, Morado Ventures, and Grit Ventures and partnered with SOSV.

Picture: a photograph of one of the ViaBot units outside

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 10 May 2021

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