How AI is set to take over the cleaning industry with autonomous machinery
As technology advances at a rapid rate, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in various industries is becoming increasingly prevalent. The cleaning industry is no exception, with the introduction of autonomous machinery called Co-botics designed to revolutionise the way businesses clean workplaces.
Co-botic machinery uses AI (artificial intelligence) to perform tasks that traditionally required human intervention, such as vacuuming, mopping, and even scrubbing. Co-botics now work in partnership with cleaners to carry out basic tasks; leaving the cleaner to focus on more detailed work in high touchpoint areas. With this level of automation, the cleaning industry should be prepared for a major change; with the potential to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve overall cleanliness. These innovations are reshaping the way facilities are maintained and managed. In this blog, we will explore how AI and robotics are changing the cleaning industry, examples of these machines and what benefits they bring to industry managers, cleaners, and business owners.
Please note that we will be using the words ‘AI (artificial intelligence), autonomous, robots’ and similar words to reflect AI-based machinery in general, such as Roombas and i-Team.
How do these machines work?
The AI machinery uses sensors that can navigate through spaces and obstacles, these sensors act as safety mechanisms for the machines, with the sensors telling the machines when to stop. These machines also use machine learning algorithms, complex code and other AI technologies to navigate through complex environments, detect and avoid obstacles, and perform cleaning tasks with precision and accuracy. Some of these AI machines also have built-in cameras to collect information and map the rooms, so they remember where to go and clean.
As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more sophisticated machines that can deliver an even better cleaning performance with greater levels of autonomy.
AI is set to take over the cleaning industry with autonomous machinery by offering several benefits such as increased efficiency, productivity, safety, and innovation. According to some sources, autonomous cleaning robots can clean more floor area per hour than human cleaners, without the need for breaks or supervision.
- Increased efficiency – Using these AI machines, daily cleaning tasks can be done without human intervention, potentially mitigating any human-based risks and with this, cleaning quickly. This will lead to further productivity & financial benefits. According to this report, there will also be a 30% increase in productivity in the next ten years that will be attributed to robots.
- High standards – As these AI machines are programmed to clean spaces, they will always be done at the same high standard, thoroughly with strong consistency. This will mitigate the risk of missing certain spots that humans may do.
- Financial savings – Investing in autonomous robotics can lead to further cost savings as a lot of these machines need less maintenance than traditional scrubber dryers for example and will also reduce labour costs as you will not need staff to operate the machines. It is also reported that the average cleaning company loses up to 55% of their customers every year due to poor service, however, AI machinery can assist in this.
- Better health & safety – By using automated AI machinery, your cleaning staff can avoid hazardous and dangerous tasks that may be needed, and this then reduces the further risk of injury within the workplace.
- Sustainability – Some AI-based machines are environmentally friendly, such as i-team’s Co-botic 1700, in which all energy of the machine is used, none of it is wasted. This machine also only uses 50W per hour, whilst alternatives may be using over 1000W. Whilst another experiment reported that AI machinery could save 11,000 tons of greenhouse gases each year.
Although there are many benefits to using autonomous machinery for your cleaning company, there are still unfortunately drawbacks and issues that may arise. You may wish to consider the following whilst looking into Co-botics.
- High investment cost – Implementing these machines can be expensive, especially for smaller companies. Maintenance costs may appear too if the machines break down. For example, i-team’s ride on floor scrubber the i-drive is around £13,000 whereas their robotic ride on floor scrubber driver, the Co-botic 65 is around £40,000!
- Often unsupervised – These machines are often unsupervised meaning that if an autonomous vacuum or scrubber dryer moves over dirt or garbage, the machine will likely get confused and attempt to clean the floor, but in the process, making the floor dirtier by spreading it.
- One-use machines – It may be likely that the cleaner operating the machine does not want a full clean and needs to manually operate the machine, however, few machines can be used manually, thus reducing the potential usage.
Examples of autonomous machinery
There are many choices of robotic AI machinery, which highly depend on what tasks you wish to complete, such as household machines, to bigger workplace machines. Below we will list four innovative and different types of these AI machineries.
- Co-botic 1700 by i-team – The co-botic 1700 is a small cleaning robot that can be programmed to vacuum spaces precisely. A user can use the integrated application via their mobile to create virtual boundaries and read the information on their device. This machine is also a sustainable alternative due to not wasting any energy and having a low wattage output.
- Co-botic 45 by i-team – This new addition to the i-team collection is an intelligent robotic scrubber-dryer for hard floors that can clean in bigger work areas. Key features include an easy set-up, taking only 30 minutes to get it working and only 3 minutes to get set up after. With the app that comes with the Co-botic 45, you can map your cleaning areas you want the machine to clean, creating a route it will store for further use.
- T380AMR by Tennant – The T380AMR is a compact robotic floor scrubber that can effectively clean narrow aisles and spaces. It has been created to work alongside other employees and customers safely, using BrainOS, it’s AI & robot platform. One of the best features of this machine includes a strong health and safety feature for employees and customers via the BrainOS technology.
In conclusion, the innovation of AI technology integrating into the cleaning industry is extremely exciting and with many benefits to be seen within this blog, such as being more efficient, having better cleaning standards, saving money, mitigating the risk of danger for your cleaners, creating a sustainable future and more.
It is important to acknowledge that these machines will be part of our daily cleaning tasks within the cleaning industry and will most likely only grow, with the increase of benefits and innovations. Do you believe this will be the future?
Interested in how AI machinery can benefit your company? We stock multiple robot vacuums at our website.