Avalon SteriTech, SoftBank Robotics Announce Joint Venture for Robot Cleaner
March 1, 2021
SoftBank Robotics Group and Avalon SteriTech Ltd. have announced a joint venture to develop innovative products and technologies that “strive to empower and benefit public health and well-being.” The venture, known as Avalon Robotics, will leverage Avalon’s strengths in biotechnology and healthcare, along with SoftBank’s expertise in AI, automation and robotics (specifically the Whiz Gambit cleaning robot).
The companies said they jointly see cleaning and bio-decontamination (“beyond the visible”) as a way to raise public confidence and achieve a greater sense of public and personal safety in Hong Kong (where the companies are based) and communities worldwide, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. They said technological solutions launched through the joint venture will “help strike the perfect balance between biocidal efficacy and responsible use of chemicals.”
“The synergy we create by harnessing expertise from both sides gives rise to a plethora of exciting ideas and opportunities through which we could address unmet public health needs,” said Lewis Ho, CEO of Avalon SteriTech. “With the launch of our products and technologies, we look forward to accelerating the adoption of smarter, more environmentally friendly and healthy solutions around the world and spark a new era for public health and hygiene practice.”
The companies said Avalon Robotics will play a key role in global product planning, research and development, business development, marketing, sales and distribution of Whiz Gambit and other technologies. The immediate goal is to introduce bio-decontamination capabilities to Whiz. The venture will be operationally managed by Avalon, who will become SoftBank Robotics’ first and only global disinfection sprayer partner. The companies said it will pave the way for future collaborations and technologies as they look to new markets in Hong Kong and globally.
“We have been reviewing many disinfectant formats to enhance Whiz with an add-on function to deliver through floorcare cleaning and achieve disinfection efficacy,” said Kenichi Yoshida, chief business officer at SoftBank Robotics. “Avalon SteriTech is able to fulfill the high environmental regulatory standards after our extensive collaborative research work with them. We believe this partnership with Avalon SteriTech will continue to bring us from strength to strength as we endeavor to pursue and design new products and robotic solutions that will be able to address the new public health requirements.
Features of the Whiz Gambit robot (credit: SoftBank Robotics Group, Avalon SteriTech)