When it comes to SoftBank’s robots, you might first think of the company’s Pepper and NAO humanoid robots,media reported. But on Tuesday, SoftBank announced the launch of its new sweeping robot, Whiz, in North America. The company has partnered with Hong Kong-based ICE Robotics to design Whiz for use in large indoor environments such as airports, hotels and university campuses.
Whiz uses the BrainOS commercial robot operating system to store up to 600 clean routes. Employees first manually guide the robot through all of these routes before the robot can automatically follow them.
Whiz’s computer vision system avoids obstacles and can clean walls – if you encounter any unresolved issues, it notifies workers through the pager system. In addition, you can remotely check the robot’s running status in real time through the cloud-based portal.
Whiz’s 23.7-Ah / 25.2V lithium-ion battery reportedly cleans up to 15,000 square feet (1,394 square meters) of space after charging for three hours, about the size of three basketball courts. It has a top speed of 1.1 mph (1.8 km/h).
SoftBank has recently launched the robot in Japan and other Asian markets, and has also been trialled at international airports in North America, such as Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky. Its subscription plan starts at $499 a month.