I Found A Planet Chapter 53
Chapter 53: Robot Wa-Wah
Update one year ago
Now that he had his own research and development team, as the owner of the company, Chen Jin told Su You Jie, Zhou Kun, and the rest of the team what the new product they were developing was. It was a robot vacuum cleaner. Moreover, he also made it clear that the making of robot vacuums should have the following requirements:
1. It will have the ability to clean 99.9% of the dirt off the floor.
2. It will have a smart cleaning mode that can clean 50% faster and more efficiently
than the other robot cleaners in the market, saving time and power for the users.
3. Keep the manufacturing cost less than $225 per unit.
Furthermore, Chen Jin even showed them dozens of blueprints that he made, explaining the plans and his ideas regarding the development of the robot vacuum cleaner. It was so detailed that even the sub-system structures, the specific working principles, and the computation of smart cleaning procedures were covered. All in all, the proposal was thorough, complete, and logical. And it was highly feasible!
Su You Jie, Zhou Kun, and the rest of the team were all stunned, looking at Chen Jin in astonishment.
The owner of this company doesn't just have money; he definitely doesn't know any less than any of the team members in terms of mechanics designs.
He had impressed the team with his professional insights, which completely changed the way they looked at him, making them put aside the contempt they secretly had for him before.
Naturally, they offered their opinions, too:
"Mr. Chen, the best robot vacuum cleaner in the current market is the iRobot from America; it claims to have the ability to clean 98.8% of the dirt off the floor, which is very high. Wouldn't it be difficult to increase the percentage to 99.9%?" Wu Lei asked.
"Agreed. 99.9% is extremely high. Even humans couldn't keep the floors that clean; besides, the smarter the robot vacuums, the higher the costs. Perhaps we should lower the percentage a little, say 99%?" Zhang Zhi Wei added as he adjusted his glasses that were as thick as the glass of a beer bottle.
"Nope. We will not lower the target number." Chen Jin shook his head. " The core competency for our robot vacuum cleaner is 'the best cleaner'. We can lower the goals for other features, but not this one." Then something classic came out of his mouth. "We must let the costumers experience the wonders of technology."
"I get it now, Sir." Wu Lei, Zhang Zhi Wei, and the rest of the team nodded as they listened. Except the captain, Su You Jie, who was deep in thought, studying the blueprint very carefully; he nodded from time to time when he agreed with the plan, and shook his head subtly when he did not.
He put down the blueprint and looked up. "Mr. Chen, there is nothing wrong with the design; the robot vacuum cleaners we are developing can definitely function well. However, it is a humanoid robot vacuum cleaner, not the typical disc-shaped kind. With all due respect, Sir, this will undoubtedly bring many problems regarding the complex structures and control procedures; the making of the joints and the HD camera system in the head will increase our costs, which could easily go over $300. Therefore, I'm afraid that keeping the budget under $225 is very unlikely."
Growing up in a middle-class family had made Su You Jie somewhat financially sensitive; besides, he'd been playing with robots for more than 10 years. It was not too hard to spot the problem with this plan.
It was costly! And as it should be. That was why they were rarely seen in the civil engineering market; any humanoid robot would be extremely expensive to develop.
"More than $300? What if I sold more than one million of these robot vacuums? " Chen Jin allowed himself a wry smile and asked, "Would that bring the cost down to somewhere around $225?"
"One million?" The number had apparently surprised Su You Jie. "We should be able to cut down 20% of the cost through mass production," He replied, nodding. "But…"
Da Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner is the most popular brand in the current market, $250 each; the company has only sold more than one million units a year after launching. And that's the best selling model. Compared to other appliances like TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, and ACs, robot vacuum cleaners aren't exactly a necessity, as most families hire cleaners to do the job for them. Besides, the economy in our country has just started to grow; unless the target customer is financially comfortable, no one would want to buy it otherwise. "Unnecessary luxury goods" is the awkward product positioning for our robot vacuums. In addition, the robot vacuum from Xing Hai Technology is still on the blueprint - it's not yet developed. The estimated cost per unit is already over $225, let alone the market price we offer to recoup the expensive costs after our product goes through different channels. High prices lead to low sales.
"Mr. Chen, in my humble opinion, I think it's best that we just develop the traditional robot vacuum cleaners," Su You Jie suggested.
"Mr. Chen, You Jie has a good point. It is the market environment dynamics we need to put into consideration the most; we ought to develop the products the market desires the most." Zhou Kun nodded and agreed with Su You Jie.
"No, no, no." Chen Jin waved off their suggestion. "If a product is actually good, it will create its own market itself; only an ordinary product would have to be tailored to meet the market needs, which is the kind of homogeneous competition Xing Hai Technology will not participate in. I understand your concerns, and they make perfect sense; however, I will not make any adjustment to the plan. You just work together, with all your professional knowledge, and develop the robot vacuum cleaner according to this blueprint that I have created!" Chen Jin concluded firmly. It was the A.I. Alice who made this blueprint after thorough research on the history of robots on Haierfa; she made this design based on a model, WA-WAH-1(Yes, two generations before Wa-Wah.), which was almost the same as WA-WAH-3.
At a tremendous sales volume of 90 million units, WA-WAH-1, the first domestic humanoid robot on Haierfa, made a massive success back then after being launched in the market. All the roads to great success were similar; with this heaven-sent example in front of him, Chen Jin was convinced that he would no doubt achieve his goal as long as he followed the pattern. As a result, he refused to pay attention to any of the negative opinions or advice given to him.
"Alright." Su You Jie and Zhou Kun bit their tongue as they gave each other a look. They were no longer the free team that they used to be; they had become Mr. Chen's employees, who should listen and do as they were told.
"Hmm…For me, I actually quite like the robot Mr. Chen designed. It is adorable! I would definitely buy one if there really was a robot like that on the market!" Xiao Sa, one of the female members of the team, looked at the blueprint as she propped her chin in the palm of her hand, pursing her lips with countless little stars in her eyes.
"I know, right? This robot that Mr. Chen designed is too cute. I can't wait to develop it and launch it in the market!" The other female member, Yang Qiu Ying, nodded with excitement. She loved the humanoid robot, too.
Generally speaking, it is the females in most families that are in charge of the cleaning; they are emotional creatures who can't resist the cuteness of things and would empty their bank accounts for anything pretty.
In the ecstasy of that thought, the eyes of Su You Jie and Zhou Kun were once again wide open.
"Mr. Chen, have you named the robot yet? I think it should have a name," Xiao Sa asked out of curiosity.
"Of course! It's called Wa-Wah. Robot Wa-Wah," Chen Jin said, smiling.
Not knowing what to say, they all looked at each other in doubt and confusion. It wasn't exactly the kind of name they were expecting.
"Relax. You'll see why," Chen Jin assured them with a mysterious look on his face.