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Cobots are collaborative robots which carry out repetitive and strenuous tasks which would otherwise be performed by cleaners, but they work alongside individuals and within a team, not in their place. Cobots are instructed and managed by cleaners on the ground and are there to help cleaning teams get work done to the required standards consistently and ease their workload.


The first true cleaning cobot on the market is Whiz, an autonomous vacuum sweeper which is a reliable and easy to use self-driving machine designed for soft-surface


vacuuming. Cleaning teams can ‘teach’ Whiz hundreds of routes within a building and then set it off to carry out the heavy-duty vacuuming, which has always been such a drain on time for cleaners and a seriously strenuous task.


Whiz delivers a deep clean on carpets, covering a large amount of carpet on a single charge. When it comes to the end of a route or needs recharging, or if there is any kind of problem, it sends a notification to the cleaner who can take the appropriate action.


This means that cleaners, once they have set Whiz off, can focus on other tasks, such as the deep sanitisation of hard surfaces, which is so very important in stopping the transmission of COVID-19. Alongside cobots, cleaning teams are able to complete all of the work they need to on time and have the satisfaction of knowing that they have done the tasks that really matter to clients and end users.


Cobots such as Whiz are extremely easy to set up and use, and it’s easy to change parts on them when needed. Cleaning teams receive simple training on how to use Whiz: how to teach it vacuuming routes around a building, how to re-charge it and what to do if a part needs changing or the machine needs servicing.


The great thing is that if there is a problem with Whiz – although that’s quite unlikely – then the supplier simply delivers a new one as soon as possible, rather than having to send it off for repair and being without it for days or weeks.


As well as easing workloads and freeing up cleaners from hours of vacuuming, the other exciting part about having a Whiz is that cleaning teams get to develop new skills and knowledge in cutting-edge technology. Whiz uses innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) technology so cleaners can learn really useful new skills, managing and controlling Whiz within their day-to-day work. These skills are likely to be hugely advantageous in their future careers.


Brilliant feedback from cleaning staff


The feedback from cleaning teams that are already working alongside Whiz is overwhelmingly positive – they love the fact that they now don’t have to spend huge amounts of time vacuuming and can take on more varied work.


They’re also not facing the same level of pressure when other team members are off sick, particularly during these challenging times – they know that Whiz is there to take care of the vacuuming. Cleaning teams are also enjoying having the chance to manage their own cobot. It’s leading to more job satisfaction, enjoyment and wellbeing.


It’s important that cleaners recognise that cobots such as Whiz are being introduced to help them within their jobs, rather than being anything to be fearful or nervous about.


The commercial cleaning industry is facing some huge challenges over the coming months and years and undoubtedly there will be some big changes, but with cobots like Whiz being introduced, cleaners should feel confident and excited about the future.


www.meetwhiz.com www.tomorrowscleaning.com TECHNOLOGY | 59


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