Published on November 9, 2023

This guy turned a 6th-grade science project into the Roomba for snow.

Published by Joshua Ramos

This guy turned a 6th-grade science project into the Roomba for snow.

Max Minakov is a college student who’s creating autonomous snow-clearing robots at Nivoso.

If you live in a place that snows, you’ll know that clearing it is a pain.

Monitoring the driveway is always back of mind. And once you get to shoveling, it could end up being a 5-hour chore that you really don’t have the energy for.

Current autonomous snow-clearing solutions exist, but there are a couple of problems:

1) Some are triggered based on weather forecasts, but those only tell you the chance of snowfall in an area. The robot might end up clearing nothing.

2) Some treat all types of snowfall the same. Wet and dry snow should be removed differently.

3) Some are just way too overpriced. They overengineer their robots with features that are cool, but not really necessary.

Nivoso strives to strike a balance that is both functional and economical.

They currently have a working MVP and are part of the BETA accelerator. In the winter, they’ll be running pilot programs to collect as much data as possible to improve their software.

Is this the future of home maintenance?

Max is building all of this while being a student at the University of Minnesota. For more stories of hidden gem founders and others from UMN, check out unistart!