The lull in disclosure on the part of Ecovacs and Roborock, which together grab a domestic market share of more than 50%, has called their financial well-being into question.
As the Chinese economy stagnates, dwindling demand for high-end cleaning gadgets like robot vacuums has dealt a heavy blow to manufacturers like Ecovacs.
To enable the device to enter narrow space close to the floor, such as under the couch or bed, Ecovacs swapped the top-mounted mechanical lidar on its previous models for a built-in semi-solid state lidar developed in-house.
Among them, the Deebot X1 series introduced in 2021 has so far recorded sales exceeding 1 million units, making it one of the few robotic sweeper producers capable of hitting such a milestone.
Amid surging labor costs and a shortage of labor, public areas are in greater need of smart cleaning gadgets, pushing higher the demand for robotic vacuum sweepers.
Suzhou is the breeding ground of quite a few robotic leaders such as Ecovacs, Dreame Tech and Elite Robotics as well as major component producers like Leaderdrive.
Although market penetration is on the rise in recent years, these devices have yet to achieve mass-market adoption to replace human labor.
Applications are becoming increasingly extensive, including in dozens of scenarios such as shopping malls, office buildings, hospitals, schools, factories, and supermarkets.
High upfront costs are often considered a major hurdle to higher penetration of commercial-grade vacuum robot cleaners, Ecovacs included.
This domain is getting increasingly crowded with domestic players like Aiper (元鼎智能) and Winny Pool Cleaner (望圆科技) and foreign competitors.
Under the agreement, the two sides will nurture doctoral and master candidates together, set up working stations for post-doctoral fellows in robotics, mechanical science or related subjects.
Darob is one of dozens of startups that have made its foray into vacuum cleaning robotics, a segment already teeming with entrenched players like Ecovacs (科沃斯, 603486.SH) and Roborock (石头科技, 688169.SH) as well as up-and-comers like Narwal (云鲸).
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