*Cleanzine_logo_2a.jpgCleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 11th April 2024 Issue no. 1109

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Are robotics the solution to the cleaning staff shortage?

* Kira_B_50_dockingstation_hangar.jpgIt remains unusual to see unmanned cleaning in operation, however due to the growing shortage of skilled staff, there is increasing pressure to reduce the time-consuming activities that don’t necessarily need to be done by a person. Some robotic cleaning models now work so autonomously that they can free up specialist cleaners to tackle the more complex tasks. To facilitate this transition, easy handling and high safety standards are top priorities to make the technology appealing and accessible. 

Robots as independent workers

* Kira_B_50_foodcourt_mall.jpgFor robotic cleaning to become widely adopted, the need for human intervention must be minimised.  Models are now available that can autonomously refill and load at a docking station and, in an ideal scenario, scrubber dryer robots will clean extensively right up to a wall without the need for additional manual work. If the machines contain high-performance software, sensors and the ability to move backwards autonomously, they can even free themselves unaided from dead ends with a clearance manoeuvre. 

Safety first

* Kira_B_50_Supermarket.jpgSafety must be an absolute priority, especially in areas frequented by the general public. 360° monitoring of surroundings is now possible with the aid of laser scanners and 3D and ultrasonic sensors. People, other moving obstacles and stationary objects are therefore reliably detected. Depending upon the model and manufacturer, safety features are certified in accordance with the provisions of CSA (North America) or IEC (Europe). An external authority must always confirm that the robot operates ssafely in accordance with the relevant standards.

Easy handling

When the first scrubber dryer robots were launched, only technical programming specialists were able to create a route plan. Now, improved sensors, higher data quality and modern operating concepts mean that every user can create, correct or combine routes with no technical support.

Depending upon the model, step-by-step instructions guide the user to programme a route, choosing a starting point marked with a code that the robot can read. The user then guides the robot around a defined cleaning area which it then handles autonomously in future. 


* Kira_B_50_Underground.jpgContrary to the perception that cleaning robots compete with traditional cleaners, robotic cleaning machines actually complement the skills and know-how of their human counterparts. Skilled workers are needed to evaluate the cleanliness and hygiene of public spaces and plan the deployment of the cleaning robots, setting codes and plotting routes.  Plus, many complex cleaning activities need to be performed manually while the robots manage the basics.  

Robot cleaners are useful in industries like logistics, retail, manufacturing and healthcare where cleaning can take a great deal of time.  A great example of this is everyday floor cleaning, which is time-consuming and strenuous. Scrubber dryer robots can clean medium to large floor areas with ease, manoeuvring safely in narrow areas or around obstacles. If the water volume, dosing and work speed are pre-set, then robots like Kärcher’s KIRA B 50 can manage these resources and clean an area of several thousand square metres a day with no human intervention. 

Upright brush-type vacuum cleaner robots also significantly reduce the effort required in cleaning large carpet areas, again very time-consuming and expensive. If the machines feature powerful batteries and high area output and cleaning performance, they improve productivity and cleaning quality while reducing the workload of cleaners.

Visit www.kaercher.com/uk for more details.

20th July 2023

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