SoftBank selling Roomba rival Whiz to clean up U.S. industry

The Japan Times 

SAN FRANCISCO – SoftBank Group Corp. has put billions of dollars into a laser-based technology that could allow cars to drive themselves and help astronauts land on distant planets. It turns out that same technology makes a pretty good vacuum cleaner. Engineers at SoftBank Robotics have spent years applying lidar, which accurately maps distances in real-time, to carpet cleaning. The result is Whiz, a sort of ultra-high-end Roomba that SoftBank will start selling to companies in the U.S. on Tuesday for $499 a month. Given the high price, offices are the target market.