Robotics Cleaning Technology at Australian Shopping Centres

Vicinity Centres is considering replacing some of its cleaning contractors with robots in a bid to automate and save costs, according to one of the company's non-executive directors, Wai Tang.

In a roundtable discussion ahead of International Women's Day, Ms Tang said disruption and volatility in the sector had led to many changes.

Vicinty Centres, which manages shopping centres around the country, had recently started trialling whether robots could be used to clean its centres.

But such a move, if it was formally implemented, would "displace many jobs", she said.

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The bot in question is Cleanfix. The product is made by Teksbotics that also makes Pepper, iCub, and other small humanoid robots with AI. Cleanfix has 11 sensors on board.

Standard company blurb includes:

The robotic technology being trialled is a hands-free system that incorporates 11 sensors, giving the robot a 360-degree view of its surroundings, and allowing it to operate and clean autonomously. Advanced navigation and sensors detect obstacles as well as people - stopping to let them pass before proceeding.

The award-winning Cleanfix RA 660 Navi is specifically designed for hard floors and is ideal for shopping centres as it scrubs and vacuums independently, reduces the need for chemicals and uses water more efficiently which significantly lowers its impact on the environment.

Other sources:

http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/08/06/future-of-jobs/

https://www.wired.com/2012/12/ff-robots-will-take-our-jobs/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/5-reasons-a-robot-may-take-your-job-and-5-why-not/

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/12/19/our-automated-future

https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/laundry-and-cleaning/vacuum-cleaners/buying-guides/robot-vacuum-cleaners

http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/where-machines-could-replace-humans-and-where-they-cant-yet

Citation: Katina Michael and Jon Faine, "Robotics Cleaning at Australian Shopping Centres: is it a good idea?" ABC Radio Melbourne: Mornings, http://www.abc.net.au/radio/melbourne/live/ 7 March 2017.