ECHA winner LionsBot - empowering cleaners

17th of November 2022
ECHA winner LionsBot - empowering cleaners

Deploying a robot army used to be the stuff of computer games. But LionsBot has made this eminently achievable – and has won itself a European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards Technological Innovation of the Year award in the process.

Robots aim to make light work of cleaning. They take away the heavy lifting and allow human operators to concentrate instead on more detailed work and intricate tasks But the problem is, every robot needs a human being to control it. Or at least they used to do.

Enter LionsBot, cleaning robot manufacturer and joint winner of this year’s European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards Technological Innovation of the Year award. The company has developed the LionsClean app in a bid to make the cleaner’s job even easier. “The app allows cleaners to operate multiple robots at the same time via a remote control,” says the company’s co-founder and ceo Dylan Ng. “They can then focus on other cleaning tasks while the robot carries out the repetitive work.”

One of the cleaners currently using the app is Lily who works at Singapore’s Harbourfront Centre shopping mall. “Lily is 76 years old and operates four robots daily while continuing with her other tasks,” says Ng. “Equipped with just an app she is able to carry out the job of five cleaners and work on four different floors. She can then focus all her efforts on interacting with customers and attending to detailed work. And as a result she is able to clean more than 8,000 square metres of floor area by herself – without even breaking into a sweat.”

The company’s LeoBot machines belong to a family of four comprising the LeoScrub, the LeoMop, the LeoVac and the LeoPull. LeoBots are currently being used in 22 countries and in prestigious locations including NHS hospitals, Munich’s BMW museum, an Abu Dhabi shopping mall and Singapore Changi Airport.

User-friendliness lies at the core of LionsBot’s ethos, says Ng. “We build our robots with cleaners in mind,” he said. “A lot of cleaners are scared of robots because they fear the technology or because they are concerned that robots will take their jobs. So at LionsBot we innovate cleaning robots that are super easy to use. Anyone can operate them after just 10 minutes of training and we find that people love them, both for their cleaning powers and for their personalities.”

A LionsBot machine becomes the cleaner’s everyday cleaning companion, says Ng. “Our robots use their interactive display to win over even the most resistant cleaner,” he said. “They’re a welcome addition to any space, quietly cleaning at any time of the day as they entertain people on the go.”

LionsBot robots have “eyes” that can express warmth and affection or be rolled in exasperation. The machines are developed in Singapore where 50 per cent of the cleaning workforce is over the age of 63 and where recruiting new staff is becoming increasingly difficult.

The app works using the LionsCloud, a unified dashboard that serves as a single point for administering all robots, users and data. The human operator receives live notifications and can tweak the operational settings and change cleaning paths. And the system also offers benefits for cleaning contractors, says Ng.

“They can gain an overview of every robot operating at any one moment,” he said. “Supervisors are then able to generate evidence-based cleaning reports to ensure consistent cleaning quality. And since our LeoBots can run for more than one shift, cleaning companies are not required to buy in so many robots.”

LionsBot robots are also designed to be sustainable, says Ng. “We minimise our water use during cleaning,” he said. “For example, our R3 Scrub only uses six litres of water per hour whereas traditional scrubbers use 40 litres per hour, which means we make water savings of 85 per cent. And we only use fresh water and don’t recycle our dirty water.”

According to Ng, LionsBot is grateful that the hard work behind the company’s products has been recognised with a Technological Innovation of the Year award. “We are extremely honoured and proud to win,” he said. “This is the first time we have won this award and it means a lot to us. It serves as validation that our team is doing ground-breaking and impactful work while also giving our customers and dealers more confidence in us.”

Ng was one of the LionsBot team attending the ceremony. “We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and it was great to catch up with fellow industry peers,” said Ng.

He adds that the ultimate role of LionsBot robots is to uplift and empower human cleaners and bring them pride in their work. “Our vision is to have a LionsBot for every cleaning professional,” he said.


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