May 22, 2019

Neo in Japan: Cleaning floors in a busy railway station and an iconic skyscraper

Railway station cleaning is a labor-intensive task, and that’s especially true at Tokyo’s massive Shibuya Station. The second busiest railway station in the world, Shibuya sees over 1 billion people passing through its twisted underground maze of hallways and shopping malls each year. Now, Avidbots Neo will be cleaning the floors of this giant railway station, following other deployments in Japan in airports and office buildings. 

Tokyu Facility Service, a subsidiary of transport company Tokyu Group that manages cleaning at many Japanese railway stations, has deployed one Neo to clean an area of Shibuya Station at night, with hopes to deploy more robot floors cleaners soon. The Neo at Shibuya Station is wrapped to look like one of the new train cars on the Tokyu Denentoshi Line, seeming right at home in this busy transit hub. 

Tokyu Group is especially interested in deploying robot floor cleaners because of the serious labor shortage in Japan, where low unemployment and a shrinking workforce make it difficult to fill janitorial and other manual jobs. The group also appreciates Neo’s ability to clean quickly, efficiently and with uniform quality, as well as provide facilities managers with detailed cleaning reports in Command Center. If you’ve ever visited a Japanese railway station, you likely remarked at how the floors, stairways, escalators and bathrooms were spotlessly maintained. Japanese consumers expect a high level of cleanliness in public places, and Neo will now be a key new member of the round-the-clock janitorial team at the bustling Shibuya Station.   

Avidbots’ Japanese distribution partner, Macnica, will provide support services to Tokyu Facility Service, training staff on how to collaborate with Neo and ensuring 24/7 monitoring and maintenance. 

In Japan, Neo isn’t just at work at Shibuya station but is also cleaning floors at the Yokohama Landmark Plaza skyscraper, the country’s second-tallest building designed by real estate development corporation Mitsubishi Estate. Macnica rolled out Neo at the Yokohama Landmark Plaza as part of a pilot project to test robot floor cleaners in large, multi-floor buildings. Since 2018, Neo has also been hard at work at Japan’s Kansai Airport.  

As Japan contends with changing demographics, the country has enthusiastically embraced robots in commercial, industrial, educational and residential settings to offset declines in its working-age population. Helping alleviate the cleaning personnel labor shortage at Shibuya railway station and beyond, Avidbots is proud to be a supplier of robotic technology at some of Japan’s most iconic locations, and we look forward to many more deployments in months to come.

neo in japan