Have a talent gap? Perhaps just build a robot!

Japan’s SoftBank robotics has launched an AI-enabled vacuum-cleaning robot that could see the end of the humble janitor.
By: | September 30, 2019

SoftBank is not a bank but a Japanese IT powerhouse that is a leading the field when it comes to building intelligent robots that can be used commercially. As part of its regional expansion it has launched Whiz, an AI-enabled and semi-autonomous vacuum cleaning robot.

Whiz is designed to optimize workflows in the cleaning industry and improve productivity. It can record up to 600 cleaning routes once it has been shown them by a janitor.

Kenichi Yoshida, Chief Business Officer at SoftBank Robotics Group (SBRG), said Whiz is already being successfully used in Japan where there is a shortage of janitors.

While SoftBank says the role of a janitor could be renamed ‘’robot operator’’, these humble cleaners may become a thing of the past with technology like Whiz. The robot can clean an area up to 1,500sqm (the size of 3 basketball courts) for 3 hours on a 4-hour battery charge.

Automation is one of the top concerns among manual workers who fear their roles could be phased out by robots. While many jobs will be replaced by machines and AI, many other roles will evolve into a partnership between man and machine.