Cleaning toilets and public restrooms may be the least desirable jobs humans want to do, but luckily, a cleaning robot janitor now exists. New York-based company SOMATIC created the AI-autonomous cleaning robot janitor and claims that it can efficiently clean and navigate by itself.
The robot janitor relies on data for it to perform its tasks of cleaning, mopping, disinfecting, and vacuuming. It is also able to navigate its way around a building, find rooms, and even ride elevators provided that a pre-mapped visual representation of an area is programmed in its system.
Having such features allows the robot janitor to effectively and autonomously carry out tasks for up to 40 hours a week without taking breaks. Taking into consideration the running time and $1,000 monthly service cost of the robot janitor, one would only need to “pay” this AI machine a low wage of $5.68 per hour, which is below the minimum wage!
Overall, SOMATIC’s robot janitor does entail cost, time, and labor savings for those who plan on availing of one but it does raise concerns about whether it will impact human employment opportunities. On that note, SOMATIC’s robot janitor does have its limitations when it comes to cleaning up after uncommon mess.
When a certain task or mess goes beyond the predetermined and programmed tasks of the robot, it will proceed to take a photo of the area and send it to a supervisor who can help. This means that human janitors are still needed in the area should extra assistance be needed.
Nonetheless, regulating roles of robots and humans in the workplace must be instilled so a healthy balance and relationship can be created. After all, robots are made to help and assist humans in the first place so we may accomplish certain tasks more easily, progress further, and find more ways to be productive.