In today’s AI-driven world, where AI systems create music, poetry, and news, New York-based company Somatic focuses on a crucial but less glamorous task: toilet cleaning. As automation transforms industries, it’s reassuring to see robots tackling unpleasant jobs.
Toilet cleaning isn’t anyone’s dream job. It’s tough, repetitive, and far from pleasant. However, it’s a vital task, especially in public spaces like offices and schools where germs can thrive. Automating toilet cleaning isn’t just cost-effective; it also enhances public health.
Somatic presents an advanced solution – an autonomous trolley-bot. This isn’t your ordinary vacuum cleaner; it’s a highly capable machine. It can open doors, navigate elevators, and move through different floors. When it cleans, the robot uses potent disinfectants and water sprays on toilet bowls, walls, and floors. It even lifts toilet lids, cleans underneath, and finishes by vacuuming. The vacuum unit is then stored on its back for the next task.
While the robot operates independently after setup, the initial process involves human intervention. Somatic provides a small sensor kit, used to map the building’s layout. This data is used to create a template for the robot using a VR headset.
The robot doesn’t replace janitorial staff entirely. It handles routine sanitation tasks but can alert humans when it encounters unexpected situations, which is common in busy public restrooms.
Somatic offers the robot as part of a $1,000 per month service package, without upfront fees. It works 40 hours a week, costing around $5.68 per hour. This cost is below the federal minimum wage in the USA, which is $7.25 per hour.
Somatic’s robots do the dirty work most prefer to avoid, potentially saving companies money. These little toilet-bots contribute to a cleaner, more automated world, even if we hesitate to share an elevator with them.