Free Startup Idea Fridays: Street Cleaning Robots

This is my latest post in my Free Startup Ideas series.

I've been coming up with business ideas since my earliest childhood memories. Most of them have been absolutely terrible. Some of them have been decent. And now I'm going to give away some of my best ones for free.

Am I really give these ideas away with zero expectation of return? Absolutely.

  1. Ideas are worthless. It's all about execution. If you want to take one of these ideas and run with it, do it. I'll even be happy to give you a brain dump with all of my notes on the idea as I’ve been thinking about most of them for a while.
  2. I take coffee meetings all the time with people looking for startup ideas. Perhaps one of these ideas will help them spark a new idea of their own.
  3. I want to get these ideas out of my head to clear some of my brain's RAM. That way I can come up with new and better ideas.
  4. I like giving things away and planting seeds.

Without further ado...

Pitch: We really need to start leveraging technology to replace the most unnecessary tasks that humans are still doing. Street cleaning is definitely one of those tasks. Not to mention that traditional street cleaning trucks become completely ineffective if someone forgets to move their car. It's time to introduce tiny robots to replace traditional street cleaners.

Backstory: I still have nightmares of living in Hoboken, NJ when I was in college. Every nightmare was the same. I would hear some loud noise outside my bedroom window. No matter how tired I was or how deep I was sleeping, I would wake up in sheer panic. My mental freakout would begin. What day is it? What time is it? Where did I park my car? Did I really just get another ticket for not moving my car for street cleaning?!

I still have a major freakout reaction when I hear street cleaners in NYC. I start thinking about where I parked my car, and eventually reason out that my car isn't even in this state. It's time we stop this mental epidemic plaguing the minds of so many adults at the mere sound of a street cleaning truck.

Street Cleaning Robots

If a car doesn't move in time for the street cleaning truck, the street doesn't get cleaned. It's that simple. The street cleaner simple goes around the freshly ticketed vehicle and the street will remain uncleaned for another week. It doesn't have to be that way. Let's use tiny robots that can clean the streets around a parked car.

The Roomba was created in 2002. I would like to think that in over a decade our technological capabilities have increased enough that we can replicate the Roomba but for cleaning city streets. Maybe it's an all-in-one autonomous robot. Maybe there is a fleet of robots each with a specific job -- pick up trash, wash the street, etc. Maybe it's some combination of robots and humans. I don't know. That's for you to figure out.

What I do know is that the current method of street cleaning is completely ineffective, except for one thing. Parking tickets. This may be a major obstacle to overcome. Perhaps cities like their street cleaning revenue better than they like cleaner streets. It's certainly plausible.

If that's the case, there's plenty of other opportunities for cleaning robots. Why not window washing robots? It could be like a pool cleaner that just roams around on it's own cleaning windows all day and night. And you don't have anyone risking their lives anymore. Why not car washing robots? There's so many opportunities to expand upon the Roomba.

If someone could please come up with a way to replace the ancient methods of street cleaning, my mental peace of mind will be forever grateful.