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From delivery drones, driverless cars to video bank tellers and self-checkout lanes, digital technology and automation advances are becoming part of our lives. These technologies have become a significant part of major industries such as agriculture, mining and in almost every other part of our lives. While these technological advancements have been slow in making their presence felt in the commercial cleaning industry, robots are now performing a number of cleaning functions.

Tech companies have been attempting to create alternative solutions. Given that 95% of the cost of commercial cleaning is labour, tech companies have been working round the clock to create automated solutions.

Innovation Taking Over Cleaning Jobs

In research carried out by Oxford University in 2013, it was predicted that 70% of low-skill jobs could be performed by machines within the next two decades. Six years down the line, we’ve begun seeing what innovation and technology can do in the cleaning industry.

Companies such as Avidbots, Karcher, and Brain Corp have already built robots, which are designed to do cleaning jobs that have been done by human beings for centuries. These robots are purpose-built to scrub floors and it won’t be long before such companies develop robots that can tackle other cleaning tasks.

The Use of Modern Technologies

Most of these robots are created to clean surfaces both indoors and outdoors. Using modern technologies such as infrared, camera sensors, ultrasonic, and gyroscopic, these robots can detect trash and uneven surfaces.

In powering these robots, batteries that can last for two hours are used. They’re powerful enough to clean over 20,000 square feet. The robots are also designed with interchangeable parts that can sweep, clean, and collect trash.

What is the Situation Right Now?

Although we’ve started experiencing automation in commercial cleaning, it’ll likely take a few decades for the world to witness a wide-scale implementation of robotic cleaners. For now, machines are much slower and more expensive than human labour costs. Again, human beings are known to be much slower in trusting and adopting new innovations, which may delay a mainstream implementation of robots in the cleaning industry.

While technologies such as robotic vacuums for homes have been introduced, it could take some years or even decades for fully-functional hands-free technology to be introduced for commercial cleaning.

How about the Budget?

Despite advancement in technology, futuristic technologies remain a long shot for janitorial budgets. This, however, does not mean that a commercial cleaning company cannot afford to incorporate automation into its operation. Instead, it means that it would not remain feasible for most cleaning companies because most of this automation is not fully hands-free.

Benefits of Automation in Commercial Cleaning

Like with every change brought about by technology and invention, it’s always advisable to embrace it rather than fighting it. That being said, automation will be beneficial in commercial cleaning by reducing costs and boosting the bottom line. Commercial cleaners will also be able to become more productive by redirecting their workers to customer-oriented responsibilities instead of doing repetitive tasks.

Additionally, most robots will have built-in Wi-Fi, which will be beneficial in providing automated reporting. This will allow cleaning managers to remotely supervise and monitor the robots’ productivity rates, maintenance needs, and chemical usage. The inclusion of software and apps will also automate activities such as time tracking, job scheduling, contract management, and project bidding.

There will also be special-purpose cleaning robots that will help in completely eradicating bacteria and pathogens that would otherwise not be detected by human cleaning.

What Next?

Although the possibility of automated commercial cleaning seems like some kind of Holy Grail that will change how we clean our homes and offices, many of these machines and robots will still require human operators. From regular maintenance, supervision to servicing, human beings will still play a critical role in the successful operation of these robots. Therefore, it might be impossible to completely eliminate the human element in the operation of these machines.

For now, we’ve not reached a point where the use of automation in commercial cleaning would reduce or totally eradicate human involvement. However, it’s inevitable that we’re headed towards that route. Until then, Evolve Cleaning is your best bet when it comes to commercial cleaning in Sydney.

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Jennifer Price

Jennifer Price

Jennifer Price is the Client Happiness Manager at Evolve Cleaning. She dedicates herself to managing healthy business relationships while prioritising her client's commercial cleaning interests are met with each and every clean. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she lives and breathes cleanliness, hygiene, sustainability and has a huge love for dogs.