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First Commercial AI Vacuum Cleaner “Whiz” Launched by Softbank Robotics

Credit: Softbank Robotics

Singapore has been pushing for automation and AI usage to improve efficiency, and Softbank Robotics has announced a solution for higher cleaning productivity – their new AI-enabled vacuum robot that’s meant for commercial spaces.

Working best on carpets and hard floors, the robot named Whiz can record up to 600 different cleaning routes which are stored in the machine for autonomous cleaning, after an initial route is programmed into it by a human.

There are also multiple collision detectors built-in, along with the BrainOS operating system which helps determine routes based on the surrounding environment. The robot is able to detect static obstacles and avoid them, but pause in place if movement is detected and wait for the route to be cleared. That’s especially useful for cleaning hallways where people might be walking by constantly.

Credit: Softbank Robotics

A single charge allows the robot to clean up to 1,500m² in three hours using Normal mode or 1.5 hours in Max Power mode, and it takes the machine just one hour to clean 500m², which is approximately the size of two tennis courts. Each recharge requires four hours and additional batteries can be purchased and swapped when necessary.

The machine is relatively compact as well, standing at 65cm tall, 47cm long and 45cm wide. The weight is on the heavier side at 30kg without the battery and 35kg with, but considering that this will most likely never be needed to be lifted off the ground, the weight seems to be a non-factor.

There are also HEPA filters which captures up to 99.97% of PM2.5 particles and the dirt is transferred into a paper bag that can contain up to 4L. Whiz will be offered as a Robot-as-a-Service that is a monthly, non-contractual subscription. The subscription will be priced at S$499 per unit/month with an additional S$100/month maintenance fee.

Credit: Softbank Robotics

1,000 units will be available for a free 30 day trial to celebrate the launch of Whiz in Singapore. Interested commercial companies can sign up from now until 31 October 2019 at Softbank Robotics’ website.

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