5 April 2018

CellBert named lab’s Most Valuable Bot

CellBert isn't afraid to get a little dirty in his mission to keep our magnet areas clean as a whistle. CellBert isn't afraid to get a little dirty in his mission to keep our magnet areas clean as a whistle. Stephen Bilenky

The MagLab’s DC Field Facility hit pay dirt with this hire, who works tirelessly to keep magnet cells spick and span.


Spring is finally here again, and at homes, labs and offices everywhere, that means: spring cleaning!

Lucky for us, a top-notch cleaner at our lab keeps the rooms (called cells) where we operate our world-record magnets neat and orderly. Affectionately named “CellBert,” this mega-sized robotic vacuum works diligently not just in the spring, but year round and around the clock. After all, when it comes to science, cleanliness is next to productiveness.

cellbert pov2

CellBert dons a GoPro to demonstrate his zest for cleanliness.
(Image credit: Stephen Bilenky)

Because he’s so low-key (not to mention low to the ground, standing only about 7 inches tall), CellBert’s efforts go unnoticed by many. But that changes today: CellBert has been named the lab’s Most Valuable Bot of the month! This long overdue award comes after unanimously positive feedback from co-workers (see below). Like all MVBs, CellBert will receive a MagLab t-shirt and the coveted parking spot right next to MagLab Director Greg Boebinger.

Congratulations to our MVB! And while that title may be a complete fabrication, CellBert most certainly is not. Take a moment to see what his colleagues had to say:

Nomination #1

“CellBert leaves my household Roomba in the dust, covering more than twice the square footage. Sure, his batteries get drained from time to time, but CellBert keeps calm and collected while regaining his energy — then he jumps right back into work.

“CellBert doesn’t stop until his 5/8 of a gallon dustbin is full. I can always count on him to clean an entire magnet cell in 200 minutes or less — talk about a results-driven employee!”

Nomination #2

“CellBert moves full speed ahead, regardless of bumps in the road. While on the job, he doesn’t seem to mind rolling right in and getting his wheels dirty.

“Whether with stand-alone tasks or his normal routine, CellBert obeys orders without stepping out of line. A flash of metallic duct tape is all it takes to let him know he has crossed the boundaries.

“CellBert makes calculated decisions to make sure no corner is left unswept. He’s polished and gentle, but understands the importance of a little elbow grease. Now if only I could take him home and have him clean the dishes…”

Nomination #3

“CellBert deserves high recognition for his contribution to our high-field laboratory. He quietly follows instructions without hesitation and requires very little supervision.

“Though some people are known to push his buttons, CellBert handles adverse circumstances with grace. When blindsided by sudden obstacles, he quietly steps back, collects himself, and readjusts his path forward — setting an example we could all stand to follow.”


So, in honor of spring cleaning, it is our pleasure to award CellBert the MVB award. He sets a spectacular example and upholds values we admire here at the lab, demonstrating unwavering perseverance, willingness to help and respect for others.

Congratulations, CellBert!

Thanks to Bobby Pullum, CellBert's supervisor, for providing information for this story.