Geek Culture

SoftBank Robotics Whirs Into Singapore With Their Newest AI Commercial Vacuum Cleaner, Whiz

Singapore, along with the rest of the world, is rapidly advancing towards an AI-filled society, with AI used in almost every facet of our daily lives. From shopping online, to social media, to machines helping to keep our houses and shopping malls spick and span. We are sure you have seen giant hunks of machines periodically whirring about, doing its best to keep the mall clean. 

Now, SoftBank Robotics Singapore (SBRSG) has finally announced the launch of their newest AI-enabled vacuum cleaning robot, Whiz. Not only does it run on AI, but it is also one of the smallest commercial vacuum cleaning robots current in the market, standing at an impressively small 455mm x 474mm x 653mm. A big difference from its much bigger predecessors. 

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This new robot is designed to help optimise workflows in the cleaning industry and also help improve productivity and manpower cost in companies who have chosen to subscribe to Whiz. Its launch in Singapore also marks a key milestone for SBRSG who has chosen to make Singapore the APAC headquarters for the company. 

“Through Whiz, we want to help our stakeholders boost their cleaning efficiency and productivity, and make SoftBank Robotics a long-term partner choice,” said Kenichi Yoshida, Chief Business Officer at SBRSG. 

According to SoftBank, Whiz runs on BrainOS, allowing it to be capable of “autonomously navigating complex and dynamic environment”, and is able to record up to 600 cleaning routes. Janitors can simply take Whiz for a spin on the first day and Whiz will log the route so that it can clean the area autonomously on its own. 

What’s more, do not be fooled by Whiz’s small build as the vacuum cleaner is able to clean areas up to 1,500sqm, which is the equivalent of three basketball courts. A full charge (which takes around 4 hours) lets Whiz run for 3 hours on Normal Mode while Max Power Mode allows Whiz to do some heavy-duty cleaning for 1.5 hours before needing to be recharged. It’s multiple collision detectors, coupled with the BrainOS, work together to help Whiz navigate around walls and obstacles. 

Whiz will also come with a mobile app, “Whiz Connect”, that gathers and sends cleaning and status reports to the user’s smartphone for updates. 

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Whiz is currently offered under the ‘Robot-as-a-Service’ business model, with a monthly “cancellable anytime” subscription fee of S$499 per month for every one unit, with an additional S$100 per month for maintenance. 

So next time don’t be too surprised if you see a tiny automated vacuum cleaner whirring about in your nearest shopping mall or hotel lobby, it is simply doing its job in keeping the space as clean as it can be.


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