Like many Asian countries, Singapore has an aging population and as a result, is facing a labor shortage. Whether it be tech or manual labor jobs, many industries are struggling to find qualified candidates. The cleaning industry has been especially impacted by the shrinking labor pool. To help combat this, one company is rolling out 300 autonomous cleaning robots to be deployed in various places around the country.
Meet Singapore robotics company LionsBot International. They create robots for the commercial, industrial and public sectors. Their autonomous cleaning robots will begin to be introduced this week with full deployment by March 2020. The first places that will get cleaning help will be Jewel Changi Airport, Resorts World Sentosa, and National Gallery Singapore.
LionsBot has about 13 different models of cleaning robots that can sweep, scrub, mop, vacuum and even carry equipment. They can be used indoors or outdoors, on all types of floors and carpets, and in tight or wide-open spaces.
LeoBots Can Work Individually or as a Team
The first autonomous team to be rolled out will be the LeoBots which consist of 4 different models. The names of the robots are pretty self-explanatory. LeoScrub scrubs the floors, LeoVac vacuums, and LeoMop mops. LeoPull is a small robot that can pull up to a thousand pounds of equipment.
The robots can work individually or as a team coordinating with each other the best way to clean the space. They’ll even autonomously refill clean water and discharge wastewater. According to the company, the robots use up to 70 percent less water compared to existing cleaning solutions.
“Robotics and automation is an important enabler for industry transformation and is needed to enhance competitiveness, especially when Singapore grapples with an aging workforce. It can also reduce the error rate of manual and repetitive,” said Koh Poh Koon, senior minister of State with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Autonomous Cleaning Robots Monitored and Controlled by App
The autonomous cleaning robots can be monitored and controlled in real-time via the LionsClean app. When finished, they will also provide a comprehensive report of the session. Robots operate about 3-8 hours on a single charge depending on the model. When their battery gets low, they’ll autonomously go to their charging station.
Onboard cameras and sensors help the cleaning bots avoid anything that may get in their way. A live mapping feature calculates the most efficient route to clean each space. The robots will adjust their route in real-time based on what else is going on in the room.
Robots Can Sing, Tell Jokes and Speak Multiple Languages
LionsBot’s robots aren’t just about cleaning. Each one has its own unique personality. They can speak multiple languages, wink, tell jokes and even sing if so desired. By scanning a QR code, people can ask the robot questions and learn more about what functions they perform.
The autonomous cleaning robots are available for rent on a monthly basis. Prices range from $1000-$1600 per month. According to LionsBot, they are the world’s first company to offer cleaning robots for rental, eliminating the need to invest in ownership and maintenance. No word yet if LionsBot will expand the robots beyond Singapore.
“Cleaning robots can help to ease the workload of the cleaning staff and free up time for more higher value-added duties such as supervision, operation, and maintenance of these robots,” said Koh.