Vacuum robots can handle jobs in tall buildings
by Mark R
I have a little story problem for you. Take your average office building with x number of floors, with y square feet of carpet per floor. Multiply x and y to get the total value of square feet of carpet for the building, and use it to obtain the value of z, the hourly salary of a janitor who needs to vacuum xy.
In case of the automated vacuum robot from Fuji Heavy Industries, the value of z is a whole lot less. This robot, which does not have an official name, is now being used on the Sumitomo building in Osaka City, Japan.
The vacuum robot is designed to roam independently to do its sucky job (I couldn’t help it, I’m sorry). It uses laser sensors to detect and steer around any obstacles in its way. It also has a camera, so it can be used for roving security.
So how does the vacuum robot go from floor to floor? Fortunately, the Sumitomo office building has an elevator, and the robot has a light transmission device that electronically tells the elevator what floor to go to. I would imagine that the robot takes its floors systematically, and then goes in for recharging after its job is done.
We may be looking at a future where Roomba-like robots are the janitors of skyscrapers. I suppose that will save a lot of money for labor, but you may be asked to hold an elevator door so a vacuum robot can get on.