Would you rent a vacuum cleaner for $499 a month?

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softbank robot vacuum cleaner
Robot controls of The WhizA person has to teach the Whiz where to go

It also gathers data and produces a report with analytics on dirt levels.

Softbank says in its presentation materials this provides the ability to “actively demonstrate cleaning efficiency to stakeholders”.

One UK firm told the BBC they were planning to conduct trials with the robot in hotels around Southampton.

Ellen Gasson, marketing director for Hampshire-based Industrial Cleaning Equipment (a different business from the Hong Kong company), says when they trial the machine in hotels, a cleaner will need to be present to allow the robot into rooms to clean floors.

WeWork rescue

The vacuum cleaner launch comes after tech investor Softbank announced its worst ever financial results, earlier in November.

Softbank reported a £5bn operating loss for the second quarter of 2019, after companies it invested in, Uber and WeWork, suffered poor financial performances.

The Whiz in operationThe robot cam navigate around office workers

WeWork, a flexible office space company had to be given a multi-billion dollar rescue package. Its chief executive Adam Neumann, departed and was replaced with Softbank executives.

Despite the negative recent press, some analysts remain positive on Softbank and see the company’s stock as undervalued.

“The WeWork debacle has eroded investor confidence but we retain our strong conviction regarding the long-term outlook for the company,” said Chris Lane, an analyst at Bernstein in a research note.

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