Recently, “Hanyang Technology Yarbo “, a courtyard robot company, has received more than $14.5 million from a Pre-A round of financing. This round of financing was led exclusively by Starlight Capital, with Singapore Zelos Fund, Glacier Capital China, angel investor Wang Long, and Silicon Valley investor HP Jin joining in. Glacier Capital will also serve as the exclusive long-term strategic financial advisor for Yarbo. Allen Huang, founder and CEO of Yarbo explained that this round of financing will be used for production and overseas sales, according to a 36Kr report.
Hanyang Technology, established in 2015, has always focused on the R&D of snow clearing robots. After six years and six generations of product iteration, it has produced the world’s first snow clearing robot ‘snowbot’, which is now included in Lawn & Landscape, an authoritative magazine in the national courtyard industry.
Last year, Hanyang launched Yarbo, a courtyard robot product, and in September of the same year, Kickstarter, a North American crowdfunding platform it was listed on, received more than $1 million in only an hour, before finishing with a total of $3.45 million. Hanyang Technology has become the company with the highest crowdfunding amount in the global consumer robot track.
Based on the climate in different regions, snow-sweeping robots are urgently needed in many countries. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the United States, more than 70% of urban roads in the United States are located in snowy areas. According to Euromonitor data, there are 120 million households in the United States, including more than 80 million single-family houses.
The snow clearing market appears huge as the US alone has a stock of 50 million pieces of snow clearing equipment, and an annual increase of more than 2 million units. According to IBISWorld data, in 2021, the global snow-sweeping service market will be $20 billion, of which home users account for about 30%, reaching $6 billion. Therefore, the total size of the global snow sweeping market for families is estimated to be in the order of billions of dollars.
Take a typical single-family house user as an example. Throughout the snowy season, families need to clear the driveway (the driveway from the garage to the public road) before driving out. In addition, among the 50 States in the US, 39 States have clear regulations on snow removal, among which 29 States have relatively strict regulations, and will face fines and criminal responsibilities if they fail to clear the snow within the specified time.
Faced with such a situation, people have two options: one is to buy traditional snow clearing equipment themselves, while the other is to hire third-party services.
However, the current two schemes can not solve everybody’s needs. From 2003 to 2018, in the US alone, the number of emergencies caused by using bulky traditional equipment to clear snow in winter exceeded 90,000, of which 648 died. Earlier, Jeremy Renner, who played Hawkeye in the Avengers, suffered a serious accident while shovelling snow at home. Many people now choose to hire third-party services to clear the snow. However, the price of this service is high, and supply is unstable. Even in the snowy season, customers need to queue and wait, which often affects work plans.
However, the snow clearing robot developed by the Yarbo R&D team, can work under extremely low temperatures (-30 degrees Celsius) and heavy snow environments. Though the robot cannot perform optimally in every situation, it does surpass its predecessors in its power system, movement, adaptability, climbing and obstacle-surmounting ability, positioning, perception and navigation. The robot is also able to tackle several complex working conditions, which requires greater power and longer endurance for snow sweeping scenarios.
The Yarbo S1 adopts a variety of sensor fusion technologies such as double-line RTK + vision + inertial navigation in navigation and positioning to achieve centimetre-level stable positioning. In terms of movement, a crawler design is introduced which helps the machine navigate across a variety of courtyard obstacles and roads, so as not to slip on 30-degree ice.
Finally, the two-stage snow clearing structure can clear up to 12 inches (about 30 cm) of snow, and can easily handle different kinds of snow, such as dry snow, wet snow and hard snow, and the snow-throwing distance can reach about 12 meters. In terms of battery life and power, the machine features super fast charging technology in an ultra-low temperature environment, and the working time after a single charge can reach 90 minutes, creating a better and more convenient user operability.