Canon unveils Whiz cleaning robot

Canon Solutions America Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A. Inc., and SoftBank Robotics America (SBRA), a San Francisco-based robotics and automation company, have collaborated on Whiz, the commercial robot vacuum that works to elevate the health and safety of varying work environments, including hotels.

“Whiz by SoftBank Robotics delivers innovation, resilience, experience and cleanliness,” said Mark Sinanian, VP, marketing, workplace technologies and services, Canon Solutions America Inc. “Whiz is part of a watershed moment around health and safety in the reimagined hospitality space. This powerful, AI-driven commercial robot vacuum has proven to be a real catalyst for cleanliness and safety in shared spaces. With state-of-the-art technology, it supports an elevated experience for all by helping to deliver a higher quality, more efficient clean—with proof of performance.”

In an industry dealing with a labor shortage, Whiz can alleviate some of the pressure off housekeeping and janitorial services.

“Whiz is able to counteract industry pain points,” said Sinanian. “Introducing robotics into the workplace allows hoteliers to take a pervasive and repetitive, yet essential, task out of a human scope of work while also allowing staff to perform it more frequently, comprehensively and effectively than before.”

Whiz combines autonomous navigation technology with Whiz Connect cloud connectivity and integrated analytics for a smarter clean and healthier environment, the companies report. It is powered by BrainOS, a cloud-connected AI software platform for building, deploying and supporting commercial autonomous robots at scale.

“Whiz is a true workhorse, providing a dynamic, high-quality and more efficient clean than manual vacuuming,” said Sinanian. “It can follow complex sweeping roadmaps, avoiding people and other unexpected obstacles while covering up to 15,000 sq. ft. per charge. Each device includes twin HEPA filters for air filtration. Full analysis and reporting are provided through the Whiz Connect dashboard. By supplying hoteliers with an increased perception of clean, the device supports a significant boost in the overall confidence of indoor sanitization, all while driving innovation and efficiency forward.”

He pointed out that the process for programming Whiz to perform its tasks is very user-friendly and straightforward.

“First, the Home Location Code is set,” said Sinanian. “This defines the starting and ending points of the route. Then, the operator steps in to manually maneuver the Whiz through the desired path, teaching it the exact cleaning route. After this initial session, Whiz goes to work, moving autonomously along the cleaning path, detecting and navigating around obstacles. But it’s not just limited to one course. Whiz is capable of memorizing several routes and providing a true helping hand to properties facing staffing shortages or productivity concerns.”

The historic Garden City Hotel on New York’s Long Island is one of the properties that is using Whiz for cleaning tasks.

“The hotel’s management said that Whiz assists them in saving time by allowing existing custodial staff to focus on high-value jobs while it handles repetitive vacuuming tasks, helping to provide an effective clean,” noted Shinanian. “Whiz’s simple, teach-and-repeat technology allows it to be programmed to follow routes with just a few simple touches on the LED screen.”