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  • Writer's pictureHolly Greenhalgh

The Future of Cleaning

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

Embracing technology to enhance the way we clean can hugely benefit us all. Using a robotic vacuum myself at home has changed my perspective of how we clean. Even on a small scale, simply reclaiming the time spent manually vacuuming and not having to think about it is not only practical but a weight off my mind.



I use my robotic vacuum more than I ever did with a manual one. My home is cleaner, healthier and happier because of it. My app shows me where my robot has cleaned, how long for and even when it needs my attention. I can monitor how clean my house is from the other side of the world... Imagine that.

Now let's think about this on a commercial scale and not just with vacuums. What about mopping and scrubbing? These are time-consuming, human-intensive tasks.

We're all more aware of cleaning because of the pandemic and are more mindful of taking extra time to clean. On top of this, there are massive staff shortages, especially in the UK. And as a result, when we use cleaning operatives, we need them to be more efficient and work quicker—but without compromising the quality of the clean.

This is where robotics can really come into its own. Although reasonably new to the UK market, cleaning managers, facilities managers, and the like are beginning to see the ease in which robotics can be integrated into a workforce. Relieving fears that robots are taking jobs, they see that robotics actually free up valuable time so an operative can focus on other tasks, such as touchpoint or deep cleaning.

What's on offer

Looking at some of the market offerings, we start with i-Vac Cobotic and Base. The Cobotic has a powerful digital 2700Pa motor that easily removes dust and dirt from all hard floor surfaces and pulls debris deep within carpeting. It is also equipped with a 5200mAh Lithium-Ion battery, providing an impressive working time of up to 150 minutes.

The i-vac can locate the placement of objects around complex environments, and anti-collision sensors monitor the environment to report potential obstacles and prevent them from falling down the stairs.

On-board sensors know when the battery is low, and i-vac will return to the dock for intuitive charging and resume cleaning until the job is complete. When used with Base, the robot will return to be placed back by an operative.

Base holds and charges six i-Vac Cobotics simultaneously, and because of the clever design, the whole unit can be easily wheeled from location to location.

Cobot is controlled through an app. It builds a map as it cleans, showing any obstacles and its route. From it, you can define cleaning zones, exclude areas, re-dock at a touch, see the active cleaning time, area covered and battery level at a glance. You can also view historic cleaning records and adjust suction as needed.

Commercial environments such as the hospitality sector, education facilities and offices can hugely benefit from i-vac Cobotic and Base. Together they maintain consistent, high cleaning standards, cleaning efficiency, and improve staff wellbeing.

Large scale automation

Moving on to a larger scale, the LionsBot range of robotic machines is the most superior currently available on the market.

In the LionsBot mid-sized range are three LeoBots. LeoMop, LeoScrub and LeoVac. Each machine is geared to a specific task, exceptionally engineered and packed with technology.

Mopping

LeoMop uses up to 80 times less water than traditional cleaning machines, using only 600ml per hour. The intelligent system only releases water when required, saving water and leaving floors exceptionally dry. LeoMop is also stunningly quiet; at only 55db, the near-silent running means it can be operated at any time of the day during business hours without disturbance. Probably one of the most impressive features is its runtime—it can perform 10-hours of continuous cleaning on a single 2-hour charge.

Scrubbing

As with the LeoMop, LeoScrub uses 80x less water than other scrubbing machines. The brushes have a multi-bristle system making them suitable for all floor types and are designed to collect stray liquid, leaving floors drier than other machines. The LeoScrub delivers a huge 50kgs of downward pressure, making surfaces incredibly clean without the need for chemicals.

Vacuuming

Interestingly, the LeoVac does not have a traditional vacuum motor. Instead, the revolutionary vacuum utilises a dual brush system. This system not only keeps noise levels below 55dbs, but the hardy brushes extract dirt from deep within the surface for a more effective clean. Because LeoVac can pull more dirt out and has a HEPA filter option, it improves the air quality and maintains healthier spaces.

All the LionsBot machines are controlled via an app with detailed analytical capabilities, giving you a complete breakdown of every point of a LeoBot's activities. You have full control over movement, brush speed, pressure, water usage, squeegee and more. The app also allows live monitoring so you can see where your fleet is at all times. Other benefits include remote servicing, user management profiles, and live notifications.

What's New

Launched in the UK in 2021 at The Cleaning Show in London, The Rex is on another level. The Rex is a fully autonomous scrubber dryer with the ability to clean 4032 meters per hour - to put that in perspective, that's the equivalent of 1 football field per hour! And, it can clean eight football fields in one charge. The Rex is ideal for warehouses, event centres, stadiums and other large spaces, but despite its size, it is incredibly agile, with a 3m turning circle.

Rex also has a massive 140l water tank, and the two 16 inch brushes give 80kg of scrubbing pressure. The built-in de-foaming system provides greater control over chemical to water ratio for long term savings.

From a safety aspect, Rex is fitted with a Lidar allowing it to see up to 200m in any direction. The sonars and depth camera network give complete vision for enhanced safety and cleaning efficiency.

Rex is also auto docking, allowing it to charge, empty waste water, and refill the water tank for the ultimate convenience.

As with the LeoBot's, the Rex is managed through an app, which means complete analytics, servicing and control wherever you are and whenever you need.

Conclusion

From this article, we can see there is an excellent choice of robotics out there. The benefits of utilising robotics are clear. Rather than replace human operatives, it enables a staff member to be in charge of a fleet of machines maximising their productivity whilst improving cleaning standards.

Easing a human-intensive workforce with effective technologies whilst supporting operatives to work more efficiently and concentrate on other essential areas of cleaning is the key takeaway message.

With these very advanced options on the market, improving cleaning standards, increasing staff wellbeing, and easing staff shortages is easier than ever.

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