Nils van der Zijl, vice president sales and marketing at SoftBank Robotics EMEA, said cleaning robots, or ‘cobots’, can work alongside cleaners to carry out repetitive or strenuous tasks, freeing up staff to do other tasks such as deep cleaning of hard surfaces. Van der Zijl said that robots can free up more than two hours for cleaning during an average shift, vacuuming an area in half the time of a manual vacuum cleaner and working 24 hours a day if needed. He said that a positive culture is essential where workers understand the role of cobots and how they improve their work.
The cobots should be able to cope when passenger numbers return to normal because they are automated and self-operate once they are trained. Van der Zijl said they can be deployed at appropriate times, preferably when passenger traffic is low. “Each cobot has the capacity to save up to 600 routes as well as the capability to build vacuuming rosters based on footfall levels which can be matched to flight timetables, allowing facility managers to plug the gap with cobots where staff resources are limited,” he said.