As mentioned, one of the company’s objectives is altering how people view the janitorial industry, a shift in perception that could ultimately make this type of work more appealing to younger people in particular. To this end, Hill and Manuel help support a robotics club at a local high school, plan to support robotics competitions, and are also involved in a nearby tech center where they make older robotic technology available for the students to tinker with. 

Students are welcome to tear the robots down, put them back together and just see how the equipment works, says Manuel, adding that these machines are helping to change the way students think about janitorial work. Involving students in the actual operation of the robots is another goal.

“Students [could be] empowered to contribute to their school’s cleanliness through classroom, extracurricular and internship opportunities that provide hands-on chances to operate and even audit LaserClean Systems’ cleaning robots and smart technologies,” says Hill.

They also foresee hiring students, as well as retired teachers and persons with special needs to be entirely possible, says Manuel, due to the fact that automated technology makes the task of facilities cleaning less physically onerous. 

These machines — which once programmed require little monitoring while in action — also allow associates to focus on other tasks and get more done in the same amount of time (the floor care robotics used by LaserClean have a runtime of 10,000 square feet per hour; batteries last about four hours). As a consequence, thanks to higher employee productivity and better labor utilization, process management and innovative technology tools, the cost savings that robotics deliver to facilities can be significant, says Manuel.

As of this writing, the company takes two approaches to the delivery of its facility cleaning products and services: one where they provide full-service cleaning and another as an equipment company that leases and supports the machines.  

“[If choosing] the latter, customers can benefit from robotic and automated facility services with none of the capital investment or the need to retain skilled technicians,” says Hill. “We envision a partnership with our customers where robots and smart technologies quietly go about the business of efficiently cleaning, with facility services provided and supervised by a diverse team of technicians whose professionalism, training, compensation and retention rates exceed industry standards.” 

Pamela Mills-Senn is a freelancer based in Long Beach, California.  


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