This cleaning robot can clean its own mop and dodge dog poo
The Venii N1 is a surprisingly well-thought-out piece of kit from China.
Venii N1 产自中国，是一款精心设计的工具
A quick search on Google will show that robot cleaners and dog poo don't go well together, yet none of the big players out there have offered a solution (Sony's Aibo doesn't count). Another pain point that has put me off from acquiring a mopping robot is the fact that the mop -- often a piece of detachable fabric -- requires manual cleaning, which is rather awkward even if there's no faecal smearing. To my surprise, it was a Chinese startup at TechCrunch Shenzhen that seems to have it all figured out.
Veniibot, a Chengdu-based team of over 20 employees, unveiled its Venii N1 mopping and sweeping hybrid robot at the TechCrunch event earlier this week. While you may not have heard of this startup before, its talents were hired from the likes of ZTE, Baidu, Motorola, Foxconn, Ecovacs and more. For those who are wondering, the N1 has over 100 patents in total.
Veniibot公司，位于成都，拥有20多名员工组成的团队，在本周早些时候的TechCrunch大会上，他们发布了自己的Venii N1拖地清扫复合机器人。虽然你可能从未听说过这家初创公司，但其麾下的人才来自中兴通讯、百度、摩托罗拉、富士康、科沃斯等公司。Venii N1 总共拥有100多项专利。
On top of the usual LIDAR and SLAM tricks for indoor navigation, the N1 utilizes a pair of front-facing cameras -- one pointing slightly downward with the other looking upward -- for recognizing objects. And no, the cameras aren't able to send data to the cloud due to the isolated circuitry (or so I was told), which should be a relief to those who really care about their privacy.
Thanks to machine learning, the N1 can apparently spot pet poop in various shapes and forms using just a camera. While there was no live demo at the event, the official product video does show a prototype crawling around a piece of poop (though it was a close call between the faecal matter and the side brush), so we'll just have to take the company's word for it. That said, since this is a camera-based solution, I suspect the room will likely need at least a bit of light for the poop recognition to work well.
The same downward camera can also detect carpet as the robot approaches it on hard floor, at which point it will retract the mop and just sweep with its soft velvet roller brush -- all the debris gets sucked into a one-liter disposable bag. Similarly, when the robot reaches the corner of a room, it whips out its "Snail Touch" side brush to sweep the remaining space, regardless of floor type.
As for the other camera, it's able to detect taller obstacles as well as its user's face. The latter comes in handy for when you summon the robot over -- via its beamforming microphone array -- to clean the space around you, though you can also ask it to clean other rooms using their predefined names in the app, as well as to set a schedule for specific cleaning tasks.
While existing mopping robots feature a small water reservoir plus a cloth that requires frequent removal for cleaning, the N1 has taken a different approach: It relies on a more generous 800ml tank inside its "Wash Base" charging dock for self-cleaning and moisturizing purposes. After every 15 to 20 square meters (about 160 to 215 square feet), the N1 returns to its station where its mop gets scraped, sprayed and squeezed, then it goes back to where it left off and continues mopping.
目前市面上的扫地机器人在拖地过程中从不清洗拖布，Venii N1则不同，它配备“清洗基座”和一个800ml的大容量水箱，用于自我清洗和保湿。每清扫15到20平方米(约160到215平方英尺)，Venii N1就会回到清洗基座，对拖布进行脏污刮除、喷水润湿、挤压脱水三重操作，然后再回到原位继续清扫。
As the water is recycled using an internal filtration system, one full tank will cover at least 120 square meters or about 1,290 square feet of space, which is about 6.5 times that of the iRobot Braava Jet or almost 3.7 times that of the higher-end iRobot Braava 300. Of course, you'll have to eventually clean the Wash Base's filter and debris trap, but this is still far less hassle than refilling the tank and washing the mop several times to cover the same amount of space.
由于水是通过内部过滤系统循环利用的，一满箱水至少可以清洁120平方米(约1290平方英尺)的空间，是iRobot Braava Jet的6.5倍，高端iRobot Braava 300的3.7倍。当然，你最终还是要清洗清洗基座里的过滤器和杂物收集器，但这仍比重新装满水槽、反复手动清洗拖把要省事得多。
Another notable difference on the N1 is that it actually applies pressure onto its mop via a pair of extending arms. This basically lifts the robot up slightly on the back, in order to re-use the robot's weight for a supposedly better mopping effort, as opposed to how others merely push or drag the cleaning fabric around.
Unlike Xiaomi's own robot vacuum cleaner, the Venii N1 isn't here to fight a price war, but if it can indeed mop the floor well and avoid smearing dog poo as advertised, then I'm all for giving it a try. I'm also intrigued by the startup's planned lineup: A company rep teased an N1S model which will even be able to scoop up poop (I wonder what the "S" stands for?), and I was told to expect some sort of larger robot that can pick things up to tidy messy room -- maybe a bit like the machine developed by the Toyota-backed Preferred Networks Inc.
与小米扫地机器人不同的是，Venii N1并不是来打价格战的。如果它真像广告宣传的那么好拖地，而且能避开狗狗粪便，那我愿意一试。我还对这家初创公司计划推出的一系列产品感兴趣：该公司代表笑称日后的Venii N1 S版甚至能铲粪便, 预计未来还会推出某种更大的机器人,可以整理凌乱的房间,有点类似丰田控股的Preferred Networks开发那种机器人的。
For now, the Venii N1 has only been announced for China, but the company does have global ambitions, starting with its planned appearance at CES this coming January. Until then, folks in China can pre-order one for 2,499 yuan or about $360 via JD.com's crowdfunding platform from December 5th, though shipping won't be until May next year. Afterwards, the N1 will retail for 3,299 yuan or about $470.
目前，Venii N1只在中国发布，但该公司确实有走向全球的雄心，从今年1月在国际消费电子展亮相开始。从12月5日起，中国消费者可以通过京东的众筹平台以2499元(约合360美元)的价格预订Venii N1，不过要到明年5月才能发货。之后，N1的零售价为人民币3,299元(约合470美元)。
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/46599.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
Innovative, but I stopped reading at "roller brush". As anyone with pets knows, pet hair and rollers just don't mix. I have a bot that just uses suction and since most of my floors are hardwood, it does the trick.
Pretty sure we'll find out later that there's one kind of waste it can't dodge: the bs claims it made about being able to dodge stools.
This will work better once they give the robot a sense of smell.
Their training data should be every interesting...
The only thing sadder than having to base your robot vacuum purchase on the devices ability to dodge dog crap
The more important question is what if I throw dog poop at the robot will it be able to dodge it.
Either that's an amazing coincidence or that dog was trained well, perfectly pooping on that napkin.
If your robot is having to dodge dog crap in your house you have larger things to worry about aside from general vacuuming.