Colin Angel, co-founder of iRobot.
China News Service, Beijing, August 31st (Qiu Yu) Colin Angel brought the newly developed mopping floorRobot(24.340, -0.04,-0.16%)Coming to China, he believes that China will become the largest home Robot market.
As an authority in the field of robotics and chairman and CEO of iRobot, Angel talked about concerns about the aging of the population in an exclusive interview with a reporter from Chinanews.com (WeChat Public Account: cns2012) on August 30. He believes that home robots Indispensable.
Inspired by Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan must not have imagined that in a thousand years, his name will be associated with a Robot.
This robot was born in the early 1990s. It is a work displayed by Angel in his undergraduate thesis of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It has six feet and can walk automatically.
In those days, it was not easy to develop a walking robot at a lower cost. The robot designed by Angel is now in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum, and it became the prototype of a commercial robot from Sony.
“It’s name is Genghis, inspired by Genghis Khan,” Angel said. “The robot is very small, and I wanted to give it a big, powerful, historical name, because its future cannot be Limited.”
The birth of Genghis was just the beginning. Angel and two other people co-founded iRobot, which has sold more than 15 million robots worldwide in more than 20 years.
Colin Angel introduced the new floor mopping robot at a launch event in Beijing.
Humanoid robots are not necessarily practical
In the conversation, Ingres often mentioned a word is “practical” (practical).
For him, the Roomba series of robots has a special meaning. This is the company’s most successful household sweeping robot, with huge sales.
“It’s the first truly practical home robot in history,” Angel said.
When it comes to robots, many people’s first impression is “a machine that looks like a human”. But Ingres believes that humanoid robots are not necessarily practical, and the consideration of shape will complicate the technology and increase the cost. Taking home robots as an example, round or square robots are obviously more flexible and less likely to be hindered when sweeping the floor.
“Governments or institutions will spend huge sums of money to develop complex robots, but these things are very far away from people, and some are even flashy,” he said. Although iRobot’s home robots only solve part of life’s problems, they can actually improve people’s lives.
Empower seniors to be more independent in their lives
Working in the field of robotics for more than 20 years, Angel was impressed by a call a few years ago.
An elderly woman living alone and with limited mobility told him excitedly on the phone that she did not have the conditions to hire cleaners frequently, but the Roomba robot made the house very clean.
“This event reminded me that older people should be helped to become more independent in their lives,” he said.
The aging society is coming, and Angel sees a huge development opportunity for home robots. He said that some elderly people are very hale and hearty, but still find it difficult to perform physical tasks such as washing dishes and mopping the floor, and they need robots.
Like the popularity of smartphones, Angel believes that home robots will also enter more people’s homes. He said that for the elderly, smartphones are only tools for obtaining information, and only robots can assist them with some necessary physical tasks.
The latest Braava jet water-jet mopping robot released by iRobot.
targeting the Chinese market
Also a buyer of home robots, Ingres noticed a marked difference between Chinese and American consumers.
Chinese people live in relatively small houses, he said, requiring frequent cleaning of tiny dust on the ground. Sweeping robots are more practical in the United States, while mopping robots are more suitable for Chinese consumers.
On August 30, iRobot released the Braava jet water-spraying robot vacuum cleaner specially developed for Chinese consumers in Beijing. It can remove dust and dirt from hard floors and is very suitable for concentrated cleaning of hard floors.
“China will definitely become the largest home robot market,” he said. “In three or four years, China may become iRobot’s largest robot market. We attach great importance to the Chinese market.”
Speaking of Chinese robot manufacturers, Angel said that robots touch all aspects of life, and Chinese companies do not necessarily only focus on the field of cleaning robots, but can also develop in fields such as drones.
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