Wisdom Technology: The scale of commercial cleaning robots will increase by more than 100 times, and standardized products may become standard
With the changing demographic structure and rising labor costs, the shortage of labor services has brought a lot of challenges to the property industry, and a large proportion of labor costs in modern property management lies in cleaners. According to statistics, the number of employees in domestic commercial cleaning scenarios With as many as 15 million people, 25%-30% of them are specialized in floor cleaning. Calculated at an average annual employment cost of 50,000 yuan, only the commercial floor cleaning part has a market size of hundreds of billions of yuan.
Facing the opportunities and challenges of the industry, Shenzhen Zhihui Technology Co., Ltd. (abbreviation: Zhihui Technology) seized the opportunity in 2015 and focused on the commercial service robot track. During the period from 2018 to 2020, the company’s profit achieved nearly 10 times for three consecutive years. of great leaps and bounds. From January to August 2021, the company’s business volume will increase by 70-80% year-on-year, the number of customers will increase by more than 2.5 times, and the performance will double.
At the end of September, Zhihui Technology has completed a new round of financing of 50 million yuan, which will be mainly used for research on cutting-edge robot navigation and control technologies, rapid product development and mass production, cloud platform upgrades, and domestic and foreign market development. Recently, “Robot and Intelligent System” magazine conducted an exclusive interview with Zhang Liang, the founder and CEO of the company, and asked him to give his views and insights on the company’s development orientation, core technology research and development, and the development trend of commercial cleaning Robots.
From solution provider to standard product mass production enterprise
Zhihui Technology is a leading commercial intelligent robot company in China. It is committed to building the world’s leading full-scenario and integrated robot service platform, providing a complete set of robot service solutions for partners in many industries such as energy, transportation, medical care, and real estate.
Regarding the reason for choosing the intelligent unmanned navigation system and commercial cleaning robot, Zhang Liang, founder of Zhihui Technology, believes that with the gradual loss of China’s overall demographic dividend advantage, the use of intelligent unmanned technology to solve simple and repetitive tasks The demand is increasing day by day, and the demand for intelligent robots by industry customers is expanding day by day.
Zhang Liang, who graduated with a doctorate in 2015, with the original intention of transforming scientific and technological achievements, resolutely decided to start his own business and set up Zhihui Technology. He said that the internet brings about the connection of production relations and accelerates the flow of information, while robots bring about the improvement of productivity. artificial intelligence cleaning robots can not only use technological means to perform jobs that people are unwilling to do and are difficult to do, but also can create productivity. Bring productivity improvement to traditional industries, and then integrate Industrial efficiency and ecology.
In June 2021, Zhihui Technology launched the new product ALLYBOT-C2 commercial cleaning robot. This product integrates floor washing, vacuuming and dust pushing. Its unique quick release design can adjust the pressure of the roller brush and perform intelligent task operations. , suitable for deep cleaning of the ground in different environments; at the same time, it supports two charging methods: self-recharging and magazine-type replaceable batteries, which can quickly replenish power and increase the area of a single operation. It can be widely used in hospitals, shopping malls, campuses, exhibition halls, and office buildings. , terminal and other places.
It is particularly worth mentioning that the ALLYBOT-C2 commercial cleaning robot is controlled by three systems: on-board large screen, mobile APP, and cloud software. Users can control the robot more freely and smoothly to achieve humanized interaction; when the robot is placed in a scene, it can The scene data will be accumulated into a database for algorithm training. In the continuous iteration of the 24-hour uninterrupted cleaning operation, the robot is more and more adaptable to its scene.
According to Zhang Liang, compared with the existing commercial cleaning models on the market, the robot can save at least two laborers, and the cleaning efficiency is 60%-100% higher than traditional manual cleaning. It is understood that the ALLYBOT-C2 commercial cleaning robot is currently in the early stage of small-scale internal testing, and many end customers are already looking forward to the final launch of the series of products.
In fact, the launch of the ALLYBOT-C2 commercial cleaning robot is much more meaningful to Zhihui Technology. In Zhang Liang’s view, based on this series of products, the company will officially expand from a solution provider to a service robot mass-produced product. enterprise. In the process of working on a number of customized solutions, Zhihui Technology has gradually explored the common needs and common technologies of industry customers, referring to the design language and concept of To C-end products, using a higher-level To than To C-end. Design indicators and weights for the autonomous operation of large-scale scenarios on the B-side, continue to carry out in-depth research and development, product innovation and technical iteration, and reduce production costs through mass production.
In addition, the launch of this commercial cleaning robot product, as the company’s leading product at this stage, establishes a high-end brand image in the field of service robots; more importantly, it will focus on this robot in the future, as a leader, through cooperation with commercial buildings, The link to the Sass platform in the park has driven more floor washing robots, security patrol robots, unmanned sweepers, unmanned logistics distribution vehicles, and indoor disinfecting robots to enter and put into use.
Intelligent navigation controller is the core technology of the enterprise
Intelligent navigation is an important problem that needs to be solved for mobile robots to achieve autonomous control. Zhang Liang, founder of Zhihui Technology, has participated in many major scientific research projects such as Huawei’s driverless car project, the London bus detection system ibis project, and the National 863 Program “Research on Key Technologies of Intelligent Vehicle-Road Collaboration”, and has profound accumulation in the field of driverless driving. and research.
At the beginning of his business, Zhang Liang extended the intelligent navigation control technology from unmanned driving to the field of commercial cleaning robots. The controller is the main product developed for the autonomous movement control of intelligent robots. It is known as the “super brain”. It integrates various sensors such as lidar, camera, GNSS, and IMU, making it capable of high-precision map acquisition, combined navigation and positioning, Environment perception, obstacle avoidance and other autonomous decision-making and intelligent control functions.
Through the hardwareization of the core algorithm and industrial-level integration, the equipment cost is reduced by 60%, and the sensor synchronization error is less than 10 microseconds, which improves the technical barriers and expands the competitive advantage. It plans to chip the navigation control to greatly reduce the cost.
At the core algorithm level, vision and laser fusion auxiliary technologies are used to achieve centimeter-level welt. Compared with the Google Cartographer algorithm, Zhihui’s self-developed LINS tight fusion positioning can provide a three-dimensional navigation accuracy of up to 1 cm and a super large 10 square kilometers. The mapping area, the recognition success rate reaches 99%, the initialization time is shortened to 0.2 seconds, and the operating efficiency is increased by more than 10 times.
Since the establishment of the company 5 years ago, from product – software – IoT system – cloud brain, Zhihui Technology has successively developed, designed and built a full-scene integrated robot service platform. As the founder of the team, Zhang Liang has always had long-term thinking and practice. . He believes that a single robot can only undertake limited work. In order to play a greater role, it is necessary to break the “chimney-like” island of the traditional information system and go deep into the customer’s elevator control, access control, camera monitoring and other IoT system operation processes Only through big data processing and analysis, modeling and learning, and forming a systematic robot service solution with the characteristics of “multi-machine collaboration, interconnection, and online learning”, can machines truly realize intelligence, thereby bringing huge benefits to the society. benefit.
In order to better promote the mission and practice of “making machines serve the world more intelligently”, Zhihui Technology pays attention to intellectual property rights and talent introduction. 90% of the technical team has a 985/211 bachelor’s degree or above, from Imperial College, Tsinghua University, Wuhan University, China University of Science and Technology, Beijing Institute of Technology, Western Polytechnic University, Australian National University, University of Iowa, Sichuan University, University of electronic Science and Technology and other well-known universities at home and abroad.
It is understood that the team has signed joint research and development agreements with many famous domestic universities and intelligent laboratories. The core team has nearly 20 years of profound accumulation in the fields of multi-sensor fusion, artificial intelligence, and intelligent navigation, and has obtained 22 invention patents. 32 software copyrights, won the Multi-sensor Fusion Technology Breakthrough Award held by the International Navigation Conference, the champion of the National Robot Challenge, the runner-up of the Intelligent Driving Challenge, the Surveying and Mapping Science and Technology Progress Award and many other national, provincial and ministerial awards, and participated in the international first Set of open source SLAM software development, cooperative development of intelligent unmanned driving system, etc.
Based on this navigation controller, Zhihui Technology has developed a variety of intelligent robots in many industries such as patrol robots, inspection robots, cleaning robots, and unmanned logistics vehicles. widely used.
Navigation technology tends towards high precision and intelligence
Commercial cleaning robots will become standard in the future
As a rising star, in just 5-6 years since its establishment, Zhihui Technology has signed strategic cooperation agreements with Huawei, China Unicom, Dongfeng, Vanke Property, Overseas Chinese Town, Airport Group, China Southern Power Grid and many other outstanding enterprises, talking about brand building and marketing promotion. Zhang Liang believes that solid technical capabilities, quick-response high-quality service awareness, and the ability to solve the overall solution beyond expectations are the keys to the rapid establishment of brand influence. In addition, the use of distinctive SLOGAN to create brand IP, and innovation and iteration every year, also makes the communication more efficient and achieves the purpose of sustainable accumulation of brand equity.
Regarding the new demands and development trends of the domestic intelligent unmanned navigation system and the user market of commercial cleaning robots in recent years, Zhang Liang believes that the following trends will emerge. First, in terms of intelligent navigation, the current technology only stays In the integration of the scene, the navigation requirements are relatively simple. As the requirements for robot intelligence become higher and higher, it is expected that the future navigation needs will evolve to a more complex and advanced level, and the requirements for algorithms and computing power will be further improved, including self-learning cognitive navigation and bionic robot navigation. High-precision clusters and intelligent technology research and development put forward higher requirements.
Second, in terms of commercial cleaning robots, although it is in its infancy, there will be broad industry demand in the future, and the market size will increase by a hundred times. Most of the current service robots are relatively simple, primitive, and mechanical, with troublesome routine maintenance and high prices. They are semi-automated products in the transition period. In the future, commercial cleaning robots will have more intelligent active cleaning, automatic sewage and water addition, integration of sweeping, suction and mopping, and silent mute in multi-task scenarios.
In addition to the functional requirements of commercial cleaning robots, more and more users want to embed products into their own systems, visualize data, and automatically generate analysis reports for better data management and operation.
Zhang Liang mentioned that as more commercial products develop towards standardization and scale, manufacturing costs will be further reduced. In the future, in the cleaning industry such as hotels and property, commercial cleaning robots will become standard, and the market size of 100 billion is coming soon.
Third, in the enterprise cooperation model, the cooperation model in the form of service is gradually proposed, and the evolution trend has changed from the previous technology-driven to the current product-driven, and will be further upgraded to service-driven in the future. The overall solution helps enterprises to complete digital and intelligent transformation and upgrading.
Based on this, under the comprehensive understanding and in-depth research of market demand, combined with its own advantages, Zhihui Technology proposed to develop and build a “full-scene integrated robot service platform”. In the future, the company will continue to base itself on technological innovation and market demand, and comprehensively improve The intelligentization of R&D, management and services, the establishment of new business models and economic growth points, the promotion of self-reform and innovative development, the promotion of industrial transformation and upgrading, and the realization of common development with more partners.
Pre: What are the applications of the RISC... Next: 3D-printed magnetic mesh ‘robot...