Meet the Israeli robot Spider-Man who will clean Hong Kong’s skyscrapers

An Israeli start-up, which has developed the first autonomous robot powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to clean and inspect the facades of skyscrapers, has signed a $5.4 million contract for maintenance and maintenance of tall buildings in Hong Kong, thus marking its entry into the Asian market.

Verobotics announced on Wednesday that it has partnered with Robocore, a Hong Kong-based robotics solutions company, to initially supply a few dozen robots over a three-year period in the city, which has 9,000 skyscrapers. As part of the deal, robots are expected to clean and inspect the exterior of buildings at some of the city’s biggest developers, starting in the third quarter of 2023.

“With the highest concentration of skyscrapers in the world, Verobotics’ solutions are particularly relevant to Hong Kong,” said Roy Lim, CEO of Robocore. “We are convinced that robots will be deployed in hundreds of buildings within a few years. »

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“This technology is a game changer,” added Roy Lim.

Founded in 2020 by Ido Genosar and Itay Levitan, with major investment from TAU Ventures, the VC arm of Tel Aviv University, and other benefactors, Verobotics has developed what it calls a “human-type” vertical robot that weighs less than 10 kilograms , works independently, can be installed on any roof and can be easily transported and managed without the use of crane or ramp system.

heading to Israeli timesGenosar said the $40 billion building care and maintenance industry hasn’t changed much since the 1950s and is mostly done manually by people rappelling down a building, often exposed to extreme temperatures. According to Genosar, this process is risky, laborious, dangerous and expensive.

Ido Genosar, co-founder and CEO of Verobotics. (Credit: Omer Hacohen)

Working in the construction industry and looking for a better solution, Genosar started to create the AI-powered robot, which is built with aerospace engineering materials and crawls vertically like Spider-Man on the facade of skyscrapers, to clean and inspect buildings .

“Many high-rise buildings can only afford about two cleanings a year and each cycle can take up to four months, whereas our device takes about a month and can be profitably used four to six times a year,” Genosar noted.

At the same time, Genosar and Levitan developed a software platform that automates inspection and maintenance processes using machine learning algorithms. The platform scans and monitors building facades to collect data via sensors to detect defects and damage such as leaks or failures.

“Our robotic device is equipped with cameras and provides a visual map with a navigation system for building owners and as such can also be used for predictive maintenance to reduce costs,” said Genosar.

The Hong Kong deal comes after Verobotics graduated from Intel’s Ignite growth acceleration program for start-ups, which leverages the ecosystem high tech Israel and helps startups grow into high-impact, cutting-edge companies.

Looking ahead, Genosar expects Verobotics to gradually roll out its robotic device to other markets in the US, Australia, Hong Kong and Israel.

“We believe that by 2024 we will manufacture and deploy more than 100 of our robots,” he said.

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