China’s robot vacuum war heats up as iFlytek looks to debut home sweeping robot

iFlytek's remarks came as the company, better known for its speech recognition technologies and a series of AI-powered smart gadgets, announced a foray in October into smart household cleaning gadgets.

iFlytek (科大讯飞), one of China’s AI giants, told investors on December 4 that it looks to introduce robot vacuum and mop products before the end of this year or in the first half of 2024.

In response to investor queries on a stock interaction platform, the Hefei-based firm said it is advancing the production and sale of sweeping robots for home use “in an orderly fashion.”

Once available, these products will hit the company’s official Tmall and JD.com stores.

iFlytek’s remarks came as the company, better known for its speech recognition technologies and a series of AI-powered smart gadgets, announced a foray in October into smart household cleaning gadgets.

It stated that an AI-driven robot vacuum and mop could be among its first releases.

The AI titan’s decision is expected to turn up the heat on market incumbents Ecovacs (科沃斯), Roborock (石头科技), Dreametech (追觅科技), Narwal (云鲸) and Xiaomi (小米科技).

China’s consumer-grade sweeping robot market is already awash with cut-throat competition, with intense rivalry among legacy players over market share.

iFlytek said in the reply to investors that its new cleaning robot aims to solve common pain points and introduce real AI technologies into the industry.

The goal is to increase the robots’ cleaning ability “in every dimension” to bring about a “truly relaxing and hygienic” user experience.

Avatar photo
Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

Articles: 789