NEATO – The world’s most innovative tool management system
Inspiration can come in many forms. Sometimes it is through necessity, sometimes it comes organically and sometimes it comes through experience. For Terry Scott when he designed the NEATO with our team, the multi-tool management system, it appears to have come from all three! In short, the NEATO is an extra set of helping hands for when you need it most. Formed of a hand-operated clamp with three manoeuvrable arms and 3 quick release connections for different tool attachments to be applied; allowing for better assistance and organisation of your work zone, all while using multiple tools to complete the job at hand whilst working alone.
Terry Scott’s journey and focus to create the NEATO is reflected in how well rounded and thought out the product is. Terry brings 20+ years of experience using tools, 9 years of ideation, and 2 ½ years of product development with Detekt; culminating in launching his idea to the world. Terry sums up his approach fantastically, “This idea I call my 2000% moment, because at 110% there was still room to fail.” The inspiration for the NEATO came after Terry survived a fatal accident; all while he was actively working on the tools to self-fund NEATO’s R&D stage with DETEKT. Amazingly, Terry still owns 100% of the idea and it is this that is driving him onwards to bring this innovative system to the world, and to fulfill his vision of the product to increase safety for all work spaces globally, help improve efficiency by increasing productivity, even in the most dangerous environments.
Drilling into more detail about the design of the NEATO shows the level of extra thought and consideration that Terry has purposely built in for the end users’ ultimate experience. A clamp forms the core of the product, with wide rubber jaws to increase stability and ensure a strong grip to any surface. The clamp is operated with a single hand and has a release trigger that the team at Detekt designed to be operated with the index finger. This allows the user to release the ratchet clamp and reposition the NEATO easily, keeping your other hand free to operate or hold tools.
Stretching from the top of the NEATO is three rubberised maneuverable arms. Topped with the quick release system, protected with IP, it can accept one of the many attachments that are supplied with the NEATO boxed package. The rubberised protection around the arms offers great protection from damaging any surfaces that they come in contact with. The supplied attachments include a rechargeable work light, magnet board, magnet tub, adjustable phone holder that holds any size phone and an oil funnel. The manoeuvrable arms and adjustable quick-lock release system allows for the attachments to be positioned in any way that the user requires in any environment.
The obvious benefit is that you can keep everything you need to see the job done smartly. The magnet board will keep every screwdriver and spanner you need right there in front of you. With the NEATO there is no more going back and forward to your tool chest, no more precariously resting your spanner on top of the engine block of the vehicle while you reach down to change a belt. No more trying to juggle three screws and four spanners in one hand while trying to wiggle that last washer off with your other hand.
Nuts, bolts, washers, screws, spacers, sockets, clips, clasps and anything else fiddly or small can be securely stored in the magnet tub. No more losing bits and pieces because it’s ‘not where you last put it’. Above all other accessories I think the funnel is the absolute game changer. Having a securely fixed funnel, held in exactly the right place, so you can use both hands to pour large containers results in less spillage and less clean up. Add to this, that you can position a work light alongside the funnel, allowing you to see the level of what you’re pouring, so you don’t overfill. This is enough reason for me to pick up a NEATO!
For a lot of people out there we have fond memories of learning how to fix cars. From cold nights in a garage holding a torch and spanner shivering while your dad, covered in oil up to the elbows, reaches out asking for the 10mm spanner (⅜ inches for those in the US) as you frantically try to work out which one it is. Well for us the NEATO packs all the convenience of a child assistant into an even smaller form factor, with even steadier hands, for when you’re at work on the tools.
The NEATO primarily focuses on the needs of those working “on the tools”. This includes mechanics, laptop repair technicians and drone camera operators. However, another group of people who I think could massively benefit from such a great product is anyone with low mobility or disability. The ability to have everything one might need right where they need it could help people gain more independence when carrying out the tasks that able-bodied people often take for granted. Attachments like the funnel attachment could help a disabled person with things like regular car maintenance, topping up the engine oil and washer fluid independently. Any device that can help the less abled gain more independence is something that is a great honor to be involved with!
NEATO is a product that is easy to imagine how it will transform your workflow. I don’t think even the NEATO development team at Detekt have thought out all of the different groups of people that are going to benefit from it. In the Kickstarter campaign it also alluded to the continued development of additional attachments that will add further functionality to an already great product. The team at NEATO and Detekt underwent a huge amount of testing from multiple different user groups and listened to the input from all of them. My hopes are that with the continued development they keep listening to all the new users who adopt their product and factor that into their development of new attachments ready to come.
Tool efficiency is key and for most of us time is money and if we can improve time, productivity and safety then that’s a winning recipe for anyone. We are currently finalising the production tooling and the launch date for the manufactured boxed NEATO has been set for May. If you want to buy one for yourself then head over to inurZONE (pronounced “in your zone”) and pre-order one today by signing up via email. We are currently finalising the production tooling and the expected delivery on the actual manufactured NEATO is early May 2019. Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting things to come!