Robotics At The Service Of Professional Cleaning – Where Are We?

In general, cleaning services involve a wide variety of manual activities requiring great mobility of the agents who carry them out. Many mobile robotic systems or mobile manipulations could be of interest in this context.

In general, cleaning services involve a wide variety of manual activities requiring great mobility of the agents who carry them out. Many mobile robotic systems or mobile manipulations could be of interest in this context.

The very context of cleaning work requires great simplicity of implementation for such systems as well as a limited number of added constraints for operators. Besides, they must be of reduced cost if used for low added value tasks or offer particular qualities for carrying out potentially dangerous work (handling toxic products, working at height, etc.) or substantially reducing the work’s arduousness or the risk of MSDs.

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By Richard Greenhill and Hugo Elias (myself) of the Shadow Robot Company –, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Shadow robot hand system

The invention of the household appliance dates back to 1901. It owes it to a British engineer named Hubert Cecil Booth. His “suction device” used a motorized pump. Different devices, solely mechanized, existed from the decennary—the energized household appliance then older its real development from the Nineteen Forties. In 1936, the Hoover company (named once its creator William Hoover) filed the patent for a household appliance with a removable hose. This innovation then became a feature common to all or any trendy vacuum cleaners. Even today, this device, unreal over 100 years agone, continues to evolve.

The first household appliance wasn’t known as a household appliance; however, a carpet brush. He used rotating brushes and a vacuum to loosen the mud. Improvement machines with rotating horizontal then vertical axis brushes have additionally developed several in varied forms XIX century. The mechanical broom was unreal by Melville Reuben (USA) United Nations agency proprietary it in 1876. within the late Fifties, with the arrival of electricity electrical motors, makers of rotating brush floor improvement machines began to introduce variable speed. The operator may then modify the rotation speed of a brushing disc that revolved at speeds of over 350 revolutions per minute. Within the Seventies, movement speeds may reach 750 to a thousand revolutions per minute.

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In the early 90s, GSF sought to develop an autonomous scrubber. However, autonomous navigation technologies were not yet mature enough, and the complexity of cleaning surfaces like those in a supermarket did not allow full robotization…

So-called robotic technologies were also developed during this same period to consider cleaning large vertical surfaces or difficult to access.

It became now no longer till the cease of the 90s that a cleansing robotic (vacuum purifier) reached the level of a customer product. The IRobot Roomba Floorvac became one of the first robotic vacuum cleaners to be advertised within the United States with a charging time of 14 hours for 1 hour of autonomy. What made its achievement is, on the only hand, its simplicity and then again the “human” cost of the characteristic it performs. The robotic vacuum purifier, nevertheless specific on time, already provided itself as a home revolution. If the primary fashions have been content material to memorize their movements, this robotic vacuum purifier has gone through many changes (a digital wall, extra state-of-the-art navigation primarily based totally on 2D SLAM, a green cleansing process, etc.). Today robotic vacuum cleaners are on occasion connectable to the Internet and feature visible navigation technology.

Roomba has made a whole lot of emulators from Samsung, e. Zicom, Again Asus, LG, Ecovacs, etc.

What we’ve found for so-known as private or private help robotics interprets into pretty comparable paperwork for cleansing robotics. Many regularly pretty complicated structures were advanced and examined with the ambition of appearing tremendously state-of-the-art capabilities. These have hardly ever long gone past the prototype level. Today, technological improvements in self-sufficient navigation specially permit a severe provision of expert cleansing robots, centered on easy capabilities and extra in step with marketplace expectancies in phrases of cost.

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Image by Nicky 😊 Thanks for everything 😌 from Pixabay

Which cleaning functions can be automated?

What is meant by cleaning encompasses a wide variety of functions, which can be automated. These are generally carried out in a wide variety of environments and call on the agents’ highly adaptive nature.

However sophisticated it may be, a robotic system will not completely replace humans in this type of work for decades. It is, therefore, a question of identifying tasks which are:

  1. Repetitive or time-consuming.
  2. Physically painful or even potentially dangerous or which could lead to health problems.
  3. Calling on a certain technicality.

The latter can indeed induce gains which, in various ways (productivity gains, reduction in the arduousness of tasks, etc.), justify their use.

In addition, the constraints of implementing robotic means must be as small as possible. Robot vacuum cleaners have shown, the key to their development is the ease of use.

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