However, the cleaning industry doesn’t seem to welcome the robot cleaners with open arms. It has some uncertainty and doubts about the automated world. Moreover, many cleaning companies are not encouraging and even creating obstacles to keep the introduction of automation in the cleaning industry.
But why are they not willing to use AI technology? What are their insecurities? In this article, you will learn the reasons for ignoring the technology and the future of robots in the cleaning business.
Resistance to Embrace Technology
Automation is taking time to develop within the cleaning sector. In the beginning, the primary issue was the cost. Cleaning companies were not willing to use their revenue on building robot cleaners. Then another obstacle came in the face of cleaning culture. They were not ready to upgrade their cleaning methods and said, “We have always done it this way.” Finding the management willing to leave behind these two problems was a challenge.
Interestingly, according to some experts, it was easier to employ automation in other industries, such as the car manufacturing industry than the cleaning industry. Some of these industries are using robots for decades. The cleaning industry needs to develop a positive approach for automation because it can open up a wide range of possibilities. For instance, it can help cleaning companies find solutions to problems such as personnel shortages. A robot cleaner uses detergents and consumables that ideally match the cleaning requirements and will help you manage expenses.
But, robot cleaners are not capable of maintaining every commercial area in a tip-top position. They can’t do every task. Robots support cleaners and give synergy effects, but only in some places. For instance, they can work in a large area with open space and fewer obstacles such as warehouses. Robots also give you more time to do the necessary work. While robot vacuum cleaners are busy cleaning a floor, you can clean the tricky places that need more skills.
Most importantly, robots reduce the risk of damaging. Once they get exactly programmed with the building structure, they will never collide with the items. In comparison, the equipment used by cleaners is prone to cause damages or get damaged because of human error. And unlike humans, robots will never get ill, which saves you from low attendance problems.
But the Million-Dollar Question: Will Robots Replace Cleaners?
Well, robot cleaners are only capable of improving the quality of your operation. They can only do this with the help of the right person. Automation will surely transform the cleaning industry from upside down but not going to reduce jobs. Machines can get damaged or break down, can’t clean the edges, and are unable to think for themselves. Engineers can only program them to think in a certain way. They will need human power to assist them at some time.
Machines like robotic pool cleaners can do routine cleaning, such as removing dirt and leaves from the pool, and cleaners can collect heavy debris from edges and places that are tricky for robots. This inability of robots ensures the need for cleaners to handle them. Hence, there is little to no risk of technological unemployment in the cleaning industry for now.
Once the cleaning industry adopts automation, the companies can train their staff to use robot cleaners. Automated machines will then work alongside cleaners and make their life easy by freeing up the time to do complicated parts.
Don’t forget that robots can’t repair robots. In this case, specialist people will help repair this machine. Thus, robots will most likely never replace the need for people in the cleaning industry.
Types of Robots for the Cleaning Industry
So, what type of robot cleaners can help you to do operations? Commercial robots have two categories, industrial and service. Industrial robots are the ones that can be programmed and used for manufacturing and various other industrial tasks such as painting and welding. Whereas, service robots do non-manufacturing tasks and have two types, professional and personal service robots.
Personal service robots, such as robot vacuum cleaners, are robots that work in consumers’ homes. On the other hand, professional service robots work for business purposes and used in different commercial settings and controlled by an operator. These robots are helpful for commercial cleaning that may or may not involve an industrial setting. Such as cleaning robots for public places, fire fighting robots, surgery robots in hospitals, robotic pool cleaners in large facilities, rehabilitation robots, and delivery robots in hospitals and offices.
According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), logistics applications are using more robots than other industries. Cleaning robots are new in the field and quickly growing. They can do a variety of tasks depending on the needs of the company that employs them.
How This Technology Works?
These robot cleaners can work in two ways. One method is to guide them manually or give them a demo by taking them into the area and cleaning up the mess. The machine will memorize your actions, and the next time when you need a cleaner, just let the robot cleaner do its work.
The other method involves the artificial intelligence technique. The robot will move around the room on its own and determine the most effective way to do the cleaning operation using algorithms based on the room’s structure. Moreover, some robots can even avoid obstacles. They do this in the same way as self-driving cars, which work largely on GPS.
Robot cleaners will only help improve the quality of work. They will help the cleaning industry focus on the operations that they sometimes ignore because of the workload. By sharing the burden, cleaners can do work more easily and wholeheartedly. Don’t forget that robots will also change the work environment, taking it to a whole new experience.