The COVID-19 pandemic increased interest in cleaning and disinfection robots worldwide. Dutch robotics startup AZIOBOT BV has teamed up with Belgian network operator Proximus to test its SB2 floor-cleaning robots over a 5G wireless network.
“COVID-19 has raised awareness of autonomous robots tremendously, especially for cleaning in public spaces such as airports, schools, and hospitals,” stated Sarthak Yadav, CEO of AZIOBOT. “That’s where our robots are playing a vital role.”
AZIOBOT said its goal is to make autonomous technology as easy for businesses to use as consumers can operate smartphones. The company has received investor from Koolen Industries and Amsterdam-based accelerator Rockstart as it brings its systems to market.
AZIOBOT SB2 'like a self-driving car for cleaning'
AZIOBOT said it has developed its robot from scratch around the needs of the user. After one quick setup, the rest is taken care of by the robot itself, said the Eindhoven, Neterlands-based company.
The SB2 is is like a self-driving car for cleaning because it is able to navigate around people and objects with advanced sensors and artificial intelligence, according to AZIOBOT. The robots are designed to thoroughly clean floors, freeing people to focus on higher-value tasks, it said.
In addition, the robots use intelligent flow control to reduce the amount of the water needed for cleaning, saving up to 70% of water in comparison with manual cleaning machines, said the company.
5G enables learning
While the onboard navigation and cleaning functions do not require network connectivity, 5G enables the SB2 to share data, improve software, and generate new services, said AZIOBOT. Proximus Group is a major European telecommunications provider, with 11,423 employees and 2020 revenue of €5.4 billion ($6.4 billion U.S.).
“Users of the robot love to see how the robot is cleaning and how they can improve their operations accordingly,” said Yadav. “This is only possible with real-time connectivity, and 5G is a perfect tool for this.”
“And more importantly, from the past learnings of the robot, we are also able to improve our software and services to make it even better for our customers,” he added. “This is another reason why 5G can be useful for our robots.”
The successful deployment of autonomous robots on a wireless 5G network “demonstrates the feasibility of this implementation for our customers and offers possibilities for a broad range of new services,” said AZIOBOT. “This achievement also marks a milestone for efficient and greener solutions and unlocks the use of this next-generation system in combination with ultra-fast, ultra-reliable, low-latency 5G networks.”
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