ROV maker Sublue dives into pool cleaning robot market with debut of BlueNexus

As the underwater drone-like device navigates the pool along a zigzag path, it maps the surroundings in real time before it plans an optimal cleaning route.

Sublue (深之蓝), a domestic manufacturer of remote operated vehicle (ROV), today launched its first-ever swimming pool robotic cleaner BlueNexus.

The Tianjin-based firm introduced BlueNexus, which it said is a cordless swimming pool robot, a huge departure from most peers in the market.

BlueNexus, which is equipped with all-in-one ultrasonic and infrared laser ranging sensors, can move around in an underwater environment on the back of its self-developed WSLAM (water simultaneous localization and mapping) algorithms.

As the underwater drone-like device navigates the pool along a zigzag path, it maps the surroundings in real time before it plans an optimal cleaning route.

Minimal risk of collision

The sensors can project sonar signals 20 times per second and identify objects as far as 20m away, with a level of precision down to millimeter.

BlueNexus comes with 12 sensors of seven types. With multi-sensor coordination, it detects pool walls, steps and other obstacles, minimizing the risk of collision and causing damage to the pool and itself.

Photos courtesy of Sublue

“Our robot is able to clean 98% of a 25-sqm pool’s surface, compared to a coverage of up to 93% for its top-tier competitors’ in a pool of the same size,” said Wei Jiancang, founder and CEO of Sublue.

Besides, it takes 20 minutes for BlueNexus to clean a pool this large, about two-thirds less than its rivals, he added.

With an all-wheel drive system, the device can defy gravity and scale walls, removing dirt sticking to usually hard-to-reach corners and edges.

Controlled via a mobile app, BlueNexus is deployed with the press of a few buttons. Users can add more features to it with OTA updates.

Its built-in 28,500 mA/h lithium-ion battery is able to keep the robot running for 210 minutes. A single charge, which lasts three hours and a half, can power the device for a week.

A global race to the bottom … of the pool

Sublue said this gadget has hit the US crowd-funding site Kickstarter for pre-order.

Worldwide, the United States has the largest number of swimming pools, estimated at 10 million. Nearly one in 31 Americans owns a pool, compared to one out of 21 in France and one out of 10 in Australia.

In 2021, global pool cleaning robots reached a market size of 10 billion yuan, with a penetration of only 19%, said Wei, the CEO, citing unspecified sources.

With its entry into the pool cleaner segment, Sublue will find itself up against opponents like Winny Pool Cleaner (望圆科技), Aiper (元鼎智能), Degrii (众清科技) and others.

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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.

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