Robotics - the future of cleaning?

6th of May 2015 Article by Dr Ilham Kadri
Robotics - the future of cleaning?

Dr Ilham Kadri, president of the Sealed Air Diversey Care business, writes her latest blog for ECJ. Following the company's acquisition of Intellibot Robotics she discusses the potential impact of this technology on the cleaning business.

Many of you have probably read the news about Sealed Air's acquisition of Intellibot Robotics, a US based privately owned company that has pioneered the development of robotic commercial floor-cleaning machines.

The reason for Sealed Air to take such a bold step is simple: the combination of Diversey Care's industry expertise and global reach and Intellibot's artificial intelligence technology will help accelerate the development of the robotic floor cleaning machines market - ultimately driving efficiencies and business value for the hygiene industry.

I was very shocked when I entered this industry two years ago, that technology is not as prominent as in other industries such as automotive... but that is changing as you read these lines.

Today robotics are becoming increasingly common for both consumer and business use. In fact, a recent Business Insider Intelligence Report found that there will be a $1.5 billion market for consumer and business robots by 2019. The report identified the three dominant categories for consumer/office use as cleaning/maintenance, "telepresence" or telecommunication, and home entertainment.

Many of you may even already own a robotic vacuum for your home, but what if you could use one at your business? It's possible now with hands-free vacuums, scrubbers and sweepers that offer greater working benefits. You'd be surprised about the number of robotic floor care machines that are being used today within numerous retail stores, hospitals, airports, hotels, manufacturing plants, offices and other commercial spaces.

The benefits of robotic floor care machines include hands-free cleaning, labour savings and improved productivity. An employee can easily operate one or more robotic floor care machines at the same time because the units have the intelligence to clean on their own.

In my view, the cleaning industry needs robotic cleaning machines both to accelerate the adoption of technology, and to elevate the perceived value of clean. And I am totally convinced that the era of robots has arrived to our industry.

What are your thoughts on this alternative cleaning method? Would you consider using robots within your facility?

Share your thoughts with me on Twitter (@kadriilham) and with Diversey Care (@diversey).


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