Universities face the challenge of cleaning and maintaining buildings with a lot of foot traffic and huge amounts of square footage. They must also frequently adjust their cleaning traffic patterns to coordinate with class schedule changes from semester to semester.
This case study at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) shows how technology can be used to drastically improve floor cleaning processes in large facilities. Similar to many Canadian universities, RIT has to contend with traditional floor cleaning challenges, as well as dealing with heavy snow and rain in the winter and spring. Its custodial staff must maintain four million square feet of space on a daily basis, which they previously did by using equipment like ride-on and walk-behind machines, and mops and buckets.
RIT implemented the Intellibot SWINGOBOT 1650® and has been using it five days per week for about six hours per day. The Intellibot covers around 50,000 square feet per shift, which means the machine can get through two residence halls every shift.
Here are some of the other benefits RIT experienced since using the Intellibot:
1. Recapturing time for additional tasks.
Deploying the Intellibot freed up about 7-10 hours per week that it was able to allocate to new cleaning tasks and increased cleaning in other areas of concern.
2. Strengthening relationships between cleaners and students and faculty.
RIT found that its custodial staff was able to interact more with faculty and students, and better understand their needs, since implementing the Intellibot. This is a result of the additional time gained, as custodians no longer have to rush to complete all of their tasks in a shift.
3. Elevated profile as a technology leader among students, staff and visitors.
RIT is a prestigious school that is widely recognized as a leader in technology and experiential learning. Students, faculty and visitors have all been impressed by the university’s commitment to technology, and the Intellibot has also made students more inquisitive about the use of robotic technology.