Artificial intelligence (AI) has been used in numerous industries for many years now, including for automating processes and improving efficiency. Commercial cleaning has also benefited from these intelligent solutions. The use of AI makes it possible to increase efficiency, cut costs, and reduce pressure on profitability in the industry. We show you the precise role that artificial intelligence has to play in the cleaning sector and how it can make work easier.
What is artificial intelligence?
The field of artificial intelligence is concerned with understanding the human brain and mimicking its abilities virtually. In other words, AI refers to applications that are able to achieve feats of intelligence similar to those performed by people. These include important activities such as learning, evaluating, assessing, and problem-solving.
Machine learning (ML) is a major field within the area of artificial intelligence. It allows systems to learn from the data that they are given, so that they can continually get better at the tasks they are assigned. For example, a system can learn from images, texts, or human speech to recognize specific patterns and to use these as the basis for autonomous decisions.
Applications and systems without AI can only perform the tasks that people have programmed them to do. Once complex systems are involved, they quickly reach their limits of their capabilities. Trained AI systems, on the other hand, can in some cases process data even better than people do, such as when data volumes are too large or the patterns that need to be recognized are too complex.
Examples of AI are particularly numerous in the online world:
- When we shop online, we see product recommendations that are based on items we have already purchased.
- We chat with intelligent virtual assistants.
- Our smartphone’s navigation program recommends the most environmentally friendly route to us.
Thanks to its ability to learn and to process huge amounts of data, artificial intelligence can be put to work in countless areas.
What role does AI have to play in commercial cleaning?
The cleaning sector is characterized by constant innovation. Even in the offline world, AI has already become a part of our everyday lives, such as with cleaning robots. These robots make use of algorithms and complex sensor technology to perceive their surroundings, recognize obstacles, and plan their routes. They are well suited to cleaning large floor areas in particular, for example in the form of automated floor scrubbers, intelligent vacuum cleaners, and mopping robots.
Cobots (collaborative robots) have an extremely important role to play in reducing employee workloads. They are able to take over recurring and monotonous cleaning tasks, freeing up their human colleagues to spend more time on other, more complex and time-consuming tasks, such as disinfecting elevated surfaces. Cobots are able to perform their tasks quickly, precisely, and reliably. Another advantage: they can be put to work at any time of day or night, which in turn helps to improve efficiency.
Cobots also facilitate resource-efficient cleaning. That is because manual cleaning frequently not only takes longer and requires more energy, but also involves the use of greater volumes of cleaning agents than are actually necessary. This is bad for the environment—and also throws a wrench into cost calculations. Special sensors make it possible for AI-based cobots to recognize particular conditions, such as the degree of soiling, and to customize the level of cleaning required.
Cobots collect data during operation and document their progress. This also allows cleaning companies to offer greater transparency to their customers. In addition, increasing automation and digitization even help optimize deployment planning. Thanks to the collection of real-time data, it is possible to make better predictions, such as regarding the amount of cleaning required according to the latest weather data.
Conclusion: artificial intelligence is no longer a vision of the future
While most people still view AI as something straight out of science fiction, artificial intelligence and collaborative cleaning solutions have long since become a part of our everyday lives. As a result, they also have an important role to play for the future of the cleaning sector. Those who take advantage of new technologies quickly can enjoy multiple benefits: AI increases efficiency, reduces costs, and boosts competitiveness.
And while cobots cannot (and should not) ever replace us, these smart helpers can be there for us 24/7—and all without any need for minimum pay or sick days.