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Tech & Science SoftBank created its own robot vacuum that uses self-driving car technology and costs $500 a month

18:07  20 november  2019
18:07  20 november  2019 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

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SoftBank 's new robot vacuum uses self - driving car technology . Soft Bank Robotics. A new robot vacuum is on the market for 9 per month The first time Whiz is used in a new area, you guide the route to teach it where to go. Then, SoftBank says, Whiz can clean the route on its own — "no

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a man standing in front of a computer: SoftBank's new robot vacuum uses self-driving car technology. SoftBank's new robot vacuum uses self-driving car technology.
  • A new robot vacuum is on the market for $US499 per month from Japanese tech giant SoftBank, aimed mostly at office spaces.
  • SoftBank is the company that has taken over WeWork, and has also heavily invested in Uber and Slack.
  • The vacuum, called Whiz, uses LIDAR sensors, the same technology used in self-driving cars.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

These days, SoftBank might be best known for its role in the WeWork debacle, taking over the coworking company following a failed IPO and the ousting of its CEO, Adam Neumann. But the Japanese giant has other projects in the works, too.

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Uber could create a ready market for Toyota self - driving cars through its app, which is used by millions of people. In May, SoftBank invested .25 billion in Cruise, the self - driving startup of General Motors. That just goes to show that even the biggest companies need partners.

billion to help the ride-hailing firm expand in self - driving car technologies , with the bulk of the The fund is reported to focus on AI-based technology and reach an investment of approximately In November 2018, SoftBank announced it will make an IPO with the cost of share .22 (which is 1 The offer of the shares was going to last for a month . Regarding the number of shares, total value of

Whiz is the company's newly released robot vacuum. SoftBank calls it a "fully autonomous vacuum sweeper," similar to a Roomba, but with a much heftier price tag at $US499 per month.

The vacuum works using LIDAR technology, in which sensors use pulses of light to detect objects and determine how far away they are. This is the same technology used in self-driving cars. SoftBank says Whiz is programmed to avoid "people, glass walls, cliffs, and other hazards."

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What technology makes self - driving cars possible? “ Self - driving capability will add benefits to our whole society, such as providing transportation for people who are otherwise not able to drive because of age or physical impairment,” Freckmann says.

SoftBank is getting into self - driving car services after the Japanese tech giant announced a joint-venture with Toyota in its native Japan. Toyota has made strong progress on self - driving vehicles, having debuted its 3.0 self - driving research car earlier this year and then, in March, created a new

The first time Whiz is used in a new area, you guide the route to teach it where to go. Then, SoftBank says, Whiz can clean the route on its own - "no downtime, no extra work required."

  SoftBank created its own robot vacuum that uses self-driving car technology and costs $500 a month

After each cleaning, Whiz provides a report about how, when, and where a space was cleaned. It can clean for about three hours on a single charge, and cover up to 15,000 square feet in that time.

Because of the high price, SoftBank is marketing the vacuum to offices, positioning the product as a replacement to a cleaning staff. SoftBank says it is an opportunity to free up janitorial staff to "focus on higher-value work that often goes neglected."

In reality, though, automation often leads to unemployment. This might be particularly attractive to a company like SoftBank - in the case of WeWork, the company has had issues relating to recognising cleaning staff unions, and has been accused of unfairly firing cleaning contractors.

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