Facility Cobot: A robot that cleans up after canteen customers

An Enabled Robotics robot will help reduce the physical strain of repetitive cleaning tasks for canteen staff at the University of Southern Denmark as part of a collaborative project supported by Innovation Fund Denmark.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for 60% of all work-related health problems in Europe according to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

Symptoms can start with tingling in areas such as the neck and shoulders, leading to inflammation and possible physical impairment, putting MSDs among the most common causes of sick leave and disability.

An Enabled Robotics robot performs object detection and semantic segmentation of a cluttered table as seen from the robot's point of view.

Autonomous service robot will lighten the load

MSD cases are widespread in cleaning as the work is demanding, repetitive and labour-intensive. To complete their work, cleaners must assume a wide range of awkward working postures that include kneeling, bending and twisting. The ‘Healthy Workplaces Lighten the Load’ campaign aims to raise awareness and create a culture of risk prevention in workplaces across the EU. The campaign’s recommendations to prevent MSDs in the workplace include adapting to new technology.

Together with other domain specialists, we’re responding to this challenge with the Facility Cobot project at the University of Southern Denmark, which is supported by Innovation Fund Denmark.

With sensor specialists UbiqiSense ApS, advisory firms SIGNAL and K-Jacobsen A/S, global facility services company ISS A/S, and researchers at The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, we’re collaborating on an autonomous robot system that can clean up after canteen customers using one of our enabled robots.

First test will take place end of 2021

The aim of Facility Cobot is to develop a proof of concept to help canteen and cleaning staff with repetitive tasks, such as collecting used bottles and serviettes and wiping down tables and chairs.

“By combining mobile robots and robot arms, we can help take the strain off employees in areas where there is a need for continuous cleaning,” says Enabled Robotics CCO, Ricky Søndergård. “This solution will be particularly useful in facilities management operations for large companies and even airports where we expect to find a large number of people.”

The first test of the Facility Cobot will take place at the end of 2021, with a product ready for customers to pilot in 2023. We look forward to updating you on this exciting project!

Find out more

To find out how our enabled robots can support your canteen and cleaning staff, feel free to contact Ricky Søndergård on +45 61 8181 61 or at rs@enabled-robotics.com