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R-storm: Replacing manpower with machines, high-altitude curtain wall cleaning robots escort "Spider-Man"
ORIGINAL 2020-11-20 Author | iOULUO

The wind multi-section snake-shaped cleaning robot developed by R-storm can overcome obstacles of more than 300mm, and can adapt to almost all types of curtain walls. Its cleaning efficiency can reach more than 10 times that of manpower. Coming soon to the market.

In construction operations, safety accidents caused by high-altitude work have become a "huge killer" in the construction industry.

In 2016, a worker cleaning the exterior wall of a building in Zhengzhou fell to his death because the lift was not fixed. During the construction outside the wall, it was blown by the strong wind, and then pulled back by the safety rope, which caused him to die after hitting the facade of the building.

Statistics show that there are more than 3 billion square meters of high-altitude glass curtain walls in the world, of which China occupies 2.5 billion square meters, accounting for 85% of the global total. It is understood that the current high-altitude glass curtain wall market has the characteristics of fast growth, large volume base and high market concentration.


In this regard, Yao Dongwei, founder of R-Storm, believes that in this market environment, it is an inevitable trend to replace manpower with machines. At the same time, the acceleration of aging has reduced the proportion of the working-age population and correspondingly increased labor costs, thereby reducing labor efficiency to a certain extent and affecting economic development.

Taking the high-altitude glass curtain wall cleaning robot as the entry point, R-storm currently has two series of scene robots, namely the snake-shaped wind robot Rs and the suction cup robot Rx. Among them, the snake-shaped wind robot Rs is the first general-purpose high-altitude cleaning robot among the products designed by R-storm. Its most prominent features are extremely efficient, compact and lightweight, and strong adsorption.

According to R-storm's calculations, if it cleans 1,500 square meters per hour, the robot can clean the high-altitude glass curtain wall day and night. At the same time, by virtue of the highly intelligent autonomous crawling function, the influence of wire rope dragging can be avoided, and efficiency and intelligence can be truly realized.

"When we designed the snake-shaped wind robot Rs from the beginning, we have considered how to avoid repeated motion and secondary pollution to the greatest extent. Therefore, the lateral reciprocating motion is another unique feature of the snake-shaped wind robot Rs. ." Yao Dongwei introduced.

In addition, innovative structure, appearance, product weight and size are also one of the core advantages of R-storm products to attract customers. The overall design of the single-section snake shape and the multi-section snake shape enables it to flexibly shuttle between various wall obstacles to meet the needs of different scenarios. Yao Dongwei introduced that in the design process, the main difficulty of the snake-shaped wind robot Rs lies in how to solve the adsorption method and adapt to the adsorption problem of different wall materials.

In order to solve the problem of adsorption method, R-storm adopts a semi-enclosed ducted power system design, which will generate a low air pressure effect inside the machine while generating strong thrust. The entire machine is as close to the work surface as a "ray", ensuring extreme stability and safety in any movement posture.

In terms of versatility, based on the flexible obstacle crossing characteristics and recognition ability, R-storm integrates the snake-shaped wind robot Rs, which can adapt to the window frames and structural features of various sizes of the building wall surface, giving the robot unlimited crossing ability. 

"Outdoors, ultrasonic and infrared navigation and positioning will be interfered, so vision must be used for navigation and positioning. In the process of visual navigation and positioning, the reflection and glare of glass will interfere with navigation, making it more difficult. This is the main reason why it is difficult for most of the products of similar enterprises to truly achieve highly intelligent autonomous movement," Yao Dongwei said. 

As an outdoor equipment, Yao Dongwei also has strict requirements on the life cycle of its products. The warranty period of IOLO products is two years and the life cycle can be up to five years. According to estimates, the working efficiency of R-storm machinery and equipment can replace 20 manpower, and the cleaning efficiency can reach 1000 to 1500 square meters per hour. 

At present, R-storm has received orders from a number of state-owned enterprises and large property groups, and is expected to complete orders of 10 million yuan by the end of the year. The business model mainly includes two points:

The property management company or cleaning service company with customer resources will be developed as a provincial/municipal agency according to its scale and location.

In the business of selling products and providing services to large customers, for small and scattered customers, the method of leasing products to service providers is adopted to provide cleaning services for scattered customers.

According to reports, for direct sales of high-altitude robots, it usually starts from 2 units, and for agency sales customers, it starts from 10 units. In addition, R-storm can also adopt a leasing model, and provincial/municipal-level agents are only eligible for leasing and providing services after completing their sales business targets; cleaning service companies must be assessed according to their existing service orders. 

Compared with manual cleaning, R-storm's robotic equipment can pay back faster and cost less. The product price ranges from hundreds of thousands of yuan, and it only takes 3 or 4 orders to pay back the cost. Behind the rapid development of R-storm, Yao Dongwei's personal experience has provided strong resource support for R-storm, and many entrepreneurial explorations have given him rich resources and experience in the machinery industry. In the R-storm team, more than 80% are overseas students, and the members of the operation team are from companies such as Decos and Shanghai Electric. In addition, Iolo also has a technical team composed of doctoral personnel from MIT, Binghamton University in New York and other institutions, which has injected a strong impetus into the product development of R-storm. In 2020, R-storm took the lead in the curtain wall cleaning robot industry to complete the Pre-A round of financing at the level of RMB 10 million, which was used for product mass production, sales and product development. Previously, in 2017 and 2018, R-storm also completed seed rounds and angel rounds of financing respectively. Yao Dongwei revealed that R-storm will first realize its layout in the three core regions of the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and gradually develop operational services in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Wuhan and other regions.

With the rapid development of the global economy, more and more high-rise buildings are rising. Due to the perennial wind and sun, as well as the erosion of pollution and chemical reactions such as harmful gases and oil fumes in the atmosphere, the outer walls of high-rise buildings will be weathered and leave dirt, which not only affects the appearance of the city, but also damages the buildings themselves. Therefore, the exterior wall cleaning industry has attracted widespread attention and attention in our country. The governments of first- and second-tier cities in China have begun to make clear regulations on the cleaning of the facades of high-rise buildings in the form of government decrees, and impose penalties on properties that violate the decree. First-tier cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou require cleaning of the exterior walls of high-rise buildings 2-4 times a year; Tianjin twice a year; other cities basically require glass curtain walls to be cleaned at least once a year; in special circumstances such as major celebrations or national and international events , will require a unified cleaning.

The exterior wall cleaning of high-rise buildings is a very complicated system engineering. At present, there are a large number of exterior wall cleaning companies, and the proportion of companies that use manual cleaning as the main cleaning method is as high as 98%. During manual cleaning, the risk factor of cleaning personnel is relatively high. According to statistics, the number of accidents in the construction industry from 2010 to 2012 was 772, 738, and 624, and the number of fatalities was 627, 589, and 487, respectively. About 10,000 people in Beijing are engaged in high-altitude work, and about 40 people fall to their deaths every year. In May 2018, the company paid 2 million yuan in compensation for the accident of high-altitude cleaning personnel in Songjiang District, Shanghai. In response to this industry pain point, R-Storm successfully independently developed and launched two high-altitude cleaning robots, which solved the disadvantages of high-altitude manual work such as high risk, high cost and low efficiency at one time, thus completely subverting the traditional high-altitude cleaning method.