Carnegie spins off autonomous robotics company

  • September 3, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Robotics has created a spin-off company Thoro to focus on the commercialisation of its autonomous mobile robotics (AMR) technology for the cleaning and disinfection equipment industry.

Thoro is the result of development by Carnegie Robotics of perception and intelligent navigation technology that safely navigates machines around people in public spaces to perform useful work.

“Our mission is to create reliable, cost-effective, industrial-grade robotics that enable the equipment to function as an extension of the cleaning workforce,” said John Bares, CEO of Carnegie Robotics. “Thoro technology is about being thorough using robotics and artificial intelligence to ensure a new standard of clean in public spaces.”

This technology has been pioneered within the commercial cleaning industry with industry partner Nilfisk. It is embedded in the Nilfisk Liberty SC50 autonomous scrubber, which is available worldwide. Danish firm Nilfisk is a provider of cleaning equipment and a customer of and investor in Thoro.

“Nilfisk has a clearly stated goal to be the leader in intelligent cleaning, and the collaboration with Carnegie Robotics around the launch of Thoro is a natural continuation of our work to achieve that goal,” said Hans Flemming Jensen, head of corporate affairs at Nilfisk. “We believe robotic innovation is integral, in fact critical, to driving cleaning excellence. With Thoro and our continued collaboration with leading technology companies, we are benefiting from our commitment to this belief and our investment in this technology.”

Bares said both Carnegie Robotics and Nilfisk recognised that the autonomous technology in the SC50 was a valuable platform for cleaning and disinfection applications generally.

The next steps for Thoro are to explore and develop additional integrated technologies in cleaning and disinfection, such as with UVC, mechanical controls and user-interface technologies for applications in healthcare and crowded public spaces, and, over time, to investigate opportunities outside of cleaning.

With more than 110 years of experience, Nilfisk has sales operations in more than 40 countries, and its products are sold in more than 100 countries.

Carnegie Robotics is an ISO 9001:2015 certified supplier of robotics sensors and systems for military, agriculture, mining, heavy-equipment and commercial applications. Since 2010, it has grown to fulfil the demand for reliable and environmentally robust components and systems that provide perception and intelligence for AMR.