A New York startup wants to introduce autonomous robots to clean bathrooms in casinos

Technology will continue to pave its own way to enter many more industries in the coming years, with rising companies presenting new applications of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify day to day tasks. A startup based in New York just presented virtual reality (VR) technology applied to an autonomous robot that can clean bathrooms efficiently, which it presented at the robotic and artificial intelligence event at the University of California, Berkeley. With casinos focusing on delivering an outstanding experience to its customers, having robots guaranteeing health safety and cleanliness in large casino bathrooms, could take the level of service to a new high.

Somatic is the company presenting the robot, described by its CEO and co-founder Michael Level, as “a mini-fridge with a robot arm attach to the front.” Cleaning bathrooms is one of the most dreadful tasks for janitors, no matter the facility they are working on; Level himself experienced this while working at his grandfather’s restaurant. One of the advantages is that all bathrooms are supposed to follow ADA compliance since 1994 and, therefore, bathrooms across the US are a perfect fit for this cleaning robot because most fixtures inside of the bathrooms are bolted down permanently.

The layout of the bathroom in a specific location will rarely change, so the first time the robot is taken to a new place, Somatic uses a VR simulation to do one remote setup. Staff will show the robot the spots that new to be cleaned or disinfected or vacuumed for the first trial run. After that, the robot relies on other space-sensing technology to operate in the next sessions.

This high-tech robot not only cleans, but it can also open doors without help and can clean for a full eight-hours shift and refill its own chemicals needed for cleaning. The goal for this New York-based startup is to be able to have these robots leased in locations that handle a large number of visitors, such as casinos, airports and office spaces.