In Conversation with SoftBank Robotics’ Chief Operating Officer APAC

One of the global leaders in robotics solution, SoftBank Robotics, opened its APAC office in Singapore in August 2019. The person instrumental in setting up the office and leading the APAC team is its Chief Operating Officer, Mr Lee Chin Yau (CY Lee). Since joining the team, CY has expanded SoftBank Robotics’ footprints in the Asia Pacific markets – Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR and South Korea. CY also played an integral role in scaling up SoftBank Robotics’ distribution networks beyond the traditional channels. Ageing Asia finds out more from CY.


Predominantly, SoftBank Robotics offer your applications for the fields of retail, tourism, healthcare, finance and education. What draws the team to expand into the APAC ageing market?

As medical and care staff are fighting off the virus at the frontlines in hospitals and care homes and patients accumulate, it becomes difficult for staff to keep up and stay safe.

Caretakers also find themselves in a difficult situation, as senior citizens in care homes are amongst the most vulnerable to the virus.

Service robots offer a multitude of solutions that can ease and reduce staff workload and stress, as well as offer more ways for everyone to keep safe in vulnerable situations, with solutions like technical cleaning, mask checking, and patrolling.

Robots will never replace the human touch of caretakers and medical staff, but they can help reduce workload and make their work easier and efficient.


What are some of the opportunities you have observed or are there any gaps that SoftBank Robotics want to address?

The Importance of Data-Driven Cleaning – There is an increased demand for higher cleaning quality and proof of those improvements. In this new normal, it is no longer enough for commercial companies to just check the boxes. They must not only improve their quality of cleaning, but also be able to prove it.

Because of this dramatic shift, data is quickly becoming a core differentiator for commercial cleaning businesses. In fact, data-driven cleaning is becoming a selling point to draw in new customers.

Data-driven cleaning is an ongoing process of tracking data and adjusting business practices accordingly to make meaningful improvements.

Tracking performance metrics doesn’t just benefit your customers. When you track the right cleaning metrics, your business is empowered to make smarter decisions. This not only improves cleaning quality, but can also increase operational efficiency, maximize the effectiveness of teams, and optimize costs.


What is the one word that you would use to describe SoftBank Robotics’ journey in the ageing market?

The word “collaborative” would be used to describe SoftBank Robotics’ journey in the ageing market.

Our vision is to develop robotics solutions to empower human beings to drive productivity at work and to accelerate robots collaborating with human, with an aim to transform cleaning industry sector.


What is your vision for SoftBank Robotics in the next 18 months?

The introduction of Whiz to APAC is a strategic decision. Through Whiz, we want to help our stakeholders boost their cleaning efficiency and productivity and make SoftBank Robotics a long-term partner choice.

To date, we have completed over 500 Whiz Proof of Concept (POC) trials across 16 cities in China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Such POC learnings will deepen our customer knowledge in understanding how Whiz should be deployed and complement and optimize the cleaning workflow procedure across different facilities and applications.

We believe robots are here to collaborate human beings, drive productivity for them at work, upskill the workforce and empower the workforce with a data-analytics driven environment to aid them to perform their job with an aim to transform the cleaning industry.

CY Lee, Chief Operating Officer (APAC), SoftBank Robotics

This article is extracted from the Ageing Asia Alliance Dec 2020 Issue. To read the full interview, click on the button below.

Contact us