August 17, 2020

As schools reopen: The role of autonomous floor scrubbers

After closing part way through the school year because of the pandemic, school districts across North America are grappling with the task of reopening their schools. Some have begun the process, while others will be opening their doors in the coming weeks. And yet for others, the decision has been made to start the 2020 school year with online education, looking to postpone the physical reopening of their school.

Senior leaders in both the United States and Canada continue to push school districts to physically open their schools, highlighting the importance of getting students back at their desks. As outlined by the CDC in an article “The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall”, it is crucial not only for children’s learning, but for their mental health as well.

At the heart of the debate is the health and safety of students and staff. State-by-state and province-by-province, leaders are highlighting what the reopening plan should entail to create a safe and healthy environment for learning.

A crucial pillar in safely welcoming students, teachers and staff back to the school is regular and consistent cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection. For many years, cleaning was something that took place in the shadows — it was something that just “happened” with people not really thinking about it. In the wake of COVID-19, it’s been brought out of the shadows and now sits under a bright spotlight.

Custodial teams at schools across North America will need to be cleaning more frequently than ever before. With limited time, budgets and staff to handle this demand, school districts are looking for innovative solutions to help their custodial teams and ensure the health and safety of staff and students.

For example, a school district in New Jersey has embraced robotics and automation by implementing Neo, the autonomous floor scrubbing robot, across three schools to provide reliable, effective assistance to their custodial staff on the front-lines. Thanks to Neo, custodial teams are able to focus on high-touch 3-D surfaces while the autonomous floor scrubbing robot sanitizes the floors, ensuring a safer environment for all.

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Neo is the industry-leading autonomous floor cleaning robot, powered by the Avidbots AI Platform. This software provides dynamic mapping capabilities and real-time obstacle avoidance. With Avidbots Command Center, Neo provides a level of oversight and performance measurement not found in other commercial floor scrubbers.

By implementing Neo, the autonomous floor-cleaning robot, schools will experience numerous benefits, including:

  • An increase in cleaning and disinfecting: With Neo taking care of the floors for up to 6 hours at a time (on a single charge), custodial staff are able to focus on high-touch surfaces that require human dexterity to clean. Having Neo as an additional team member will be imperative as students, teachers, staff and parents expect more consistent and frequent cleaning of all surfaces at the school.
  • A new team member that pays for itself: Neo delivers a return on investment that will pay for itself within a 12-18 month period. School districts will have to navigate labor challenges. Society now realizes the once thankless job of cleaning is both unpleasant and dangerous, so fewer people will be willing to perform the job, and they'll demand greater compensation.
  • A better student and staff experience and elevated brand image: Neo will quickly become an integral member of the custodial team, helping to keep students and staff safe and healthy. In turn, parents and the local community will know that the school takes the health and safety of students seriously.

Already, schools around the globe including West Des Moines Community School, Southern Regional School District and St. Clair County Community College include Neo as an integral part of their custodial teams.

To learn how Neo can augment your current custodial team, further protecting the health and safety of students, teachers and staff, please contact us.