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China’s Pudu to supply cleaning robots to Japan hotels and eateries

Written by Nikkei Asia Published on   1 min read

The company known for cat-like robot waiters is seeking to expand its business.

Chinese commercial service-robot maker Pudu Robotics will make a full-scale push into Japan’s cleaning robot market, the company announced on Thursday, as it tries to expand beyond food service in the country.

Pudu plans to sell automatic and manually activated cleaning robots to hospitals and hotels. The manually activated model, which the company said is strong against grease and is expected to be used in restaurants, will go on sale from Thursday.

An automatic type with vacuum and mopping functions is already on sale for offices and hotels. Pudu aims to sell 3,000 cleaning robots in Japan by 2024.

In an interview with Nikkei after a press conference on Thursday, CEO Felix Zhang said the company is working on robots that can move between floors using elevators. It also plans to use the Internet of Things technology to propose solutions to its client’s issues.

“Our large market share allows us to reduce costs and provide ample after-sales service. It also helps us improve our technological capabilities and product quality,” Zhang said about his company’s operations in China.

Pudu is known for its server robots with cat-like “faces”, which have been introduced in Japan by major food service companies such as Skylark Holdings and Zensho Holdings.

“Labor shortages are becoming an issue in the country due to the declining birthrate and aging population. Japan is highly receptive to service robots and has great potential as a market,” Zhang said.

This article first appeared on Nikkei Asia. It has been republished here as part of 36Kr’s ongoing partnership with Nikkei.


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