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Press Release – World’s First Autonomous Commercial-Class Snow Clearing Robot to Ramp Production in 2018 as Left Hand Robotics Receives $3.7M in Seed Financing

World’s First Autonomous Commercial-Class Snow Clearing Robot to Ramp Production in 2018 as Left Hand Robotics Receives $3.7M in Seed Financing

August 7, 2018 (Longmont, CO) – In response to market demand, Left Hand Robotics is initiating production of SnowBot Pro, the first commercial class self-driving snow clearing robot. A single SnowBot Pro can complete the work of 14 shovelers in the same amount of time. Commercial snow management companies and municipalities can reduce their labor costs by up to 80%. Seed financing of $3.7 million led by Heroic Ventures will expand the team and scale production.

SnowBot Pro will be produced in Colorado and delivery begins late 2018. SnowBot Pro is $32,995 plus an annual software subscription. “SnowBot Pro is changing how snow management operators plan for snowstorms,” says Terry Olkin, CEO and Co-founder of Left Hand Robotics. “It can start as soon as the snow falls and run without supervision throughout the storm so sidewalks are always clear; this is critical for hospitals, airports, business and academic campuses, retail shopping centers, and municipalities. Late nights and long hours spent shoveling increase the chance of injury, and labor has always been a highly unpredictable cost for this industry. SnowBot Pro is a fixed cost that can pay for itself in the first year,” adds Olkin.

SnowBot Pro is smart and connected to the cloud. GPS-controlled, it follows a pre-programmed path unassisted to clear sidewalks and bike paths with down-to-the-inch accuracy. Technologies include LIDAR and RADAR sensors that detect obstacles and allow SnowBot to drive itself safely. Onboard cameras automatically take before and after pictures included in post-action job reports, and monitoring systems allow an operator to monitor the SnowBot in real-time from the web or a mobile device. SnowBot can pre-treat walks ahead of a storm and apply solid or liquid deicer immediately after clearing snow. About the size of an ATV, its compact size is specifically engineered to maneuver sidewalks with ease.

“We invest in visionary companies with the potential to impact huge industries,” says Matt Robinson, Founder and Managing Partner of Heroic Ventures, an early Left Hand Robotics investor and the lead for the Seed round. “Left Hand Robotics is bringing the first autonomous robot to the commercial snow management market. In just two years they have designed and launched software and robots that virtually eliminate snow shoveling. The team is incredible and focused on delivering the world’s most advanced robotics technologies and software management systems,” says Robinson. Others participating in the $3.7M Series Seed round include Hardware Club, PV Ventures and Stout Street Capital.

Today snow management operators can calculate their Return on Investment (ROI) on a SnowBot Pro purchase based on their current costs for manual snow removal. Using the ROI Calculator, an operator can input manual clearing data and an hourly pay rate to calculate their own Breakeven, cost savings on labor, and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Reservations are being taken for the 2018-19 snow season. To use the calculator and see SnowBot Pro in action, go to www.lefthandrobotics.com.

 

About Left Hand Robotics
Left Hand Robotics has developed the first commercial self-driving, snow clearing robot capable of removing snow from sidewalks. The SnowBot Pro is a state-of-the-art GPS-navigated robot that operates autonomously to address the biggest problem commercial, residential and municipal snow management operators face – the high, unpredictable cost of manual, snow removing labor.

Based in Longmont, Colorado, Left Hand Robotics was founded with a vision to bring safe, robust, and innovative automation and advanced technology solutions to outdoor industries thus allowing businesses to scale by reducing costs due to labor. The Left Hand Robotics founding team brings over five decades of experience in software and robotics to difficult problems such as snow removal. The SnowBot Pro is available for the 2018-19 snow season. Go to lefthandrobotics.com to learn more.

 

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$3.7M to ramp up SnowBot production and grow the team: SnowBots will be out in force across the U.S. for 2018-19 snow season

I have to say 2018 has been quite a year here at Left Hand Robotics. This year the first SnowBot Pros took their turns clearing snow at sites across the country. We evaluated how they worked in the field and evolved our design and improved our software to get to our production version. Wow, we’ve come a long way! In June 2017, we debuted the SnowBot Pro at the biggest snow management trade show in the world, the SIMA Snow and Ice Symposium, and today we are planning our production schedule so we can start delivery of brand new SnowBots to all of those on the reservation list in late 2018 — they’re being assembled at our own facility in Longmont, Colorado by the way.

A lot of people are excited about a future that includes smart robots like our SnowBot. This year we set out to raise our initial investment capital to grow our team and scale production. Today we announced $3.7M in seed funding to ramp SnowBot production. Early on, investors were first intrigued by the idea of a self-driving snow clearing robot, and then amazed when they saw it in action. Heroic Ventures led this round and was also an early angel investor.

Matt Robinson, Heroic’s Founder and Managing Partner, saw right away that SnowBot can solve a real, industry-wide problem — he sees Left Hand Robotics as part of a larger paradigm shift driven by a new level of innovative automation that is happening in a lot of industries, and snow is just one. Other investors in the seed round include Hardware Club, PV Ventures and Stout Street Capital, and we are glad to have them backing the Left Hand Robotics team and our vision. You can read the entire press release here.

We recently developed an ROI calculator that lets snow management operators calculate their Return on Investment (ROI) on a SnowBot Pro purchase based on their current costs for manual snow removal. An operator can input manual clearing data and an hourly pay rate to calculate their own Breakeven, cost savings on labor, and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Crunching the numbers is the best way to see the clear benefits of SnowBot, in many cases you can see that SnowBot pays for itself in a year.

We are still taking SnowBot Priority Reservations now to hold your spot on the reservations list. If you have questions for our team, please get in touch!

 

-Terry

5 Questions with Terry Olkin of Longmont’s Left Hand Robotics

Longmont’s Left Hand Robotics has developed a first-of-its-kind commercial robot designed to clear snow from surfaces such as sidewalks. The startup company, founded in 2016 by Terry Olkin and Mike Ott, is allowing snow removal companies to try its product, the SnowBot Pro.


Left Hand Robotics cofounder Terry Olkin with “Snowbot” in Longmont, Colorado on March 13, 2018. (Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer)

Left Hand’s executives say demand for the robot has been strong and production is expected to ramp up in advance of next winter. We chatted with Olkin, a software engineer by trade and the firm’s CEO, to learn more about the robot and the business.

The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

1. What’s your background and how did you get into robotics?

Read full Boulder Daily Camera Story >

Left Hand Robotics scaling up SnowBots

LONGMONT — Left Hand Robotics Inc., a manufacturer of snow-plowing robots, is ramping up production of its SnowBots through a 10-client pilot program.

Left Hand Robotics started its pilot by putting out a request for interested customers — typically contractors who clear snow for large campuses or municipalities or commercial buildings that do it themselves — to apply for one of their SnowBots. CEO Terry Olkin told BizWest they ultimately got 40 applications for 10 slots they could fill.

“We were way oversubscribed,” Olkin said. “We saw there was a lot of interest.”

Pilot customers are spread between the West and East Coasts in the United States and Canada, in order to test the SnowBots in locations that will be experiencing snow at different times. Robots were delivered throughout January, and personnel were trained how to use them.

Read full BizWest story >

Press Release – World’s first self-driving, commercial-class snow clearing robot now operating at pilot customer locations across North America

 

World’s First Self-Driving, Commercial-Class Snow Clearing Robot From Left Hand Robotics Now Operating at Pilot Customer Locations Across North America

Company to ramp SnowBot Pro production in 2018 to meet initial demand

March 1, 2018 (Longmont, CO) – Left Hand Robotics has developed the first self-driving robot to clear snow from sidewalks, dramatically reducing labor expense for snow management operators while producing better overall results. Tedious, repetitive, physically taxing snow shoveling is the ideal task for a robot.

SnowBot Pro pilot customers across North America are responsible for snow management at hospitals, airports, business and academic campuses, retail shopping centers, and local municipalities. A job that typically takes eight snow shovelers an hour to clear is completed in the same amount of time with one SnowBot Pro. Customers see the SnowBot Pro as a way to significantly reduce their labor costs, clear snow faster, and improve safety — as one in four slip-and-fall accidents is attributed to snow and ice.

State-of-the-art technologies enable the GPS-navigated robot to operate autonomously to clear snowy sidewalks with down-to-the-inch accuracy. It has five types of sensors, including LIDAR and thermal sensors for safety. Customers monitor the robot’s progress in real-time from the web or mobile phone apps. Read more

6 Questions Snow Removal Pros Ask the First Time They See the SnowBot Pro

 

Left Hand Robotics CEO & Co-founder Terry Olkin answers the most commonly-asked questions we hear.

1. How big is the SnowBot Pro?

The first time snow management pros see the SnowBot Pro, they have a lot of questions. Thinking about the impact robotics can have on their industry is new to them, but it gets them excited. When prospective customers see the SnowBot Pro in person, their reaction is usually, “Wow, it’s smaller than I imagined!” In fact, because the SnowBot Pro is specifically designed for sidewalks and pathways, it has a track width of just 34”, and including the rotating broom it has an overall width of four feet (the width of a typical sidewalk).

Because there is no need to accommodate an operator, the robot’s main body is only about three feet tall, with the sensor tower extending about two more feet above the body. Its compact form factor makes it easy to transport on any typical equipment trailer, but don’t be fooled — the SnowBot is robust, it is built with commercial-grade hardware to ensure it can withstand the harsh conditions that come with snow removal. Click to watch the video above to see SnowBot Pro in action. Read more

Check out Left Hand Robotics in the news!

For most people, the end of the year is relatively calm as you take time off to spend with family. Businesses tend to go quiet and not much happens in the news. But none of that was true at Left Hand Robotics. We were hard at work putting the final touches on our robots as we get them ready to go out to our pilot customers. Once they hit the road, we will be sure to take you along for the ride.

On the news front, we were featured in two separate video news stories linked below. The first was shot in November by the Denver Business Journal, but was just released on January 2.  This is a very nice almost 3 minute story about LHR and the SnowBot Pro. The second was recorded by a local TV station, 9News (NBC), on the same day as our (Boulder’s) first big storm of the year. This story was broadcast on December 27. We are, of course, grateful for the (free!) positive coverage of our company and our robots. These stories have generated a lot of additional interest in the company that we are always excited to get.

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SnowBot Pro Hits the Colorado High Country – See video

A few days ago, we loaded up a SnowBot Pro and drove 60 minutes west of the Left Hand Robotics headquarters in Longmont, Colorado to the Colorado high country in search of fresh snow.

We were lucky to arrive in the early morning to find newly fallen snow, and it wasn’t long before we had the SnowBot Pro off the trailer and clearing snowy sidewalks. Click the image above to watch the video.

Read more