A majority of workplace and facilities managers now recognise cleaning robots as a way to deliver "the technological and operational transformation they need", according to research undertaken by a robotics manufacturer.
Cobotics is the name of a branch of robotics in which robot devices work alongside cleaning teams to undertake repetitive and time-consuming tasks such as vacuuming.
In the survey, conducted by SoftBank Robotics EMEA, 81 per cent of respondents said they saw cobotics as a potential solution to cleaning challenges over the next five years. A further 73 per cent agreed with the premise that cobotics had the potential to transform the cleaning industry.
On the demand side, 81 per cent of FMs surveyed said they believed cobotics could play a significant role in aligning their commercial cleaning operations with their smart building vision. On the supply side, 77 per cent predict that the introduction of cobotics into their cleaning operations will enable them to win new clients through proof of performance and innovation. 82 per cent believed cobotics could help ensure more agile working in the sector.
Stefano Bensi, GM at SoftBank Robotics EMEA, said: “By taking a cobotic approach, FM organsiations can re-invent their resourcing and commercial models to take advantage of the relative strengths of both people and machines.
The research further highlighted the difficulties that FM leaders face in coming up with new innovation programmes. This was put down to a range of factors, including technical complexity as well as a lack of required skills and leadership.