Cleaning robots are getting smarter, as vendors add data to fleet management software. SoftBank Robotics America yesterday announced Whiz Connect, which it described as an enterprise-grade application and dashboard for reporting data about the health and safety of indoor spaces. The company said that, along with its Whiz cleaning robots, Whiz Connect centralizes customer automation portfolios, enabling users to make informed decisions about occupancy, optimize their Whiz fleets, and quantify the value of robotics to their workplaces.
SoftBank Robotics America (SBRA) is a part of SoftBank Group Corp., and provides service robots including Whiz and the humanoid Pepper and Nao. The company said over 30,000 of its robots are used in more than 70 countries worldwide for applications including retail, hospitality, healthcare, education, and facilities management. As of the end of June, it said it had shipped more than 10,000 units of Whiz.
Whiz Connect collects data
Launched in North America last fall, Whiz is now the most widely used autonomous professional cleaning robot for commercial applications by sales volume, according to a June 2020 Grand View Research report. Whiz is powered by BrainOS, Brain Corp.‘s cloud-connected AI software platform for building, deploying, and supporting commercial autonomous robots at scale.
Whiz Connect delivers Whiz’s operating data as end-user insights. It combines telemetry from Whiz units with data analytics, machine learning, and a responsive user experience, enabling users to better manage their environments, said SoftBank.
While Whiz works, Whiz Connect captures its coverage and frequency, and helps determine time freed that can be invested elsewhere. Whiz Connect features SMS alerts sent directly to a phone to notify the user when the robot starts, when it finishes an autonomous route, and when there are other messages. These alerts are intended to allow Whiz operators to work on other tasks while helping teams better manage their time and workflow.
“Whiz with Whiz Connect is part of the heightened, people-first standard for our surroundings in this critical time,” stated Brady Watkins, senior vice president and general manager of SBRA. “Providing continuous data, access and collaboration is at the core of how cobotics and technology can help simplify and rebuild trust in workplace wellness. Through Whiz Connect and the power of BrainOS, our partners incorporate actionable data and intelligence into the collaborative effort of workplace safety [and] cleanliness.”
Data dashboard part of subscription
SoftBank noted that Whiz Connect is now part of its robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) offering.
“Whiz Connect is the first data dashboard of its kind, and comes as part of my robotics subscription,” said Kelvis Quaynor, executive vice president at Ganir & Co Pacific Rim Commercial Services. “Just like how people smile and seem reassured to see Whiz continuously cleaning their hotel or office, the data reporting allows me to alleviate my customers’ concerns about the health impacts of one of the biggest air filters in their space.”
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