Robot vacuum companies from China are cleaning up globally with cutting-edge features and affordable prices, as shown by the player behind Ecovacs cleaners surpassing the maker of Roombas in sales last year, reports Nikkei Asia. The Chinese business, formally known as Ecovacs Robotics, is hoovering up more than consumers. Investors are embracing the company’s growth potential, sending its market capitalization near RMB 44 billion ($6.38 billion)—roughly five times that of US-based iRobot, the Roomba manufacturer.
“We’re using automated driving technology,” says an Ecovacs sales representative, describing the the company’s latest Deebot vacuums that use artificial intelligence chips and deep learning technology to control movement.
The Deebot is powered by chips from Horizon Robotics, a Chinese autonomous driving technology company founded in 2015 that collaborates with Volkswagen. The vacuum also features Ecovacs’ own lidar—light detection and ranging—sensing system as well as a high-definition camera so it can map a home using data collected for efficient cleaning.