• Charles

Productivity Investigation:

Updated: Apr 8, 2019

Cleaning Robots In T4 of Changi Airport

Our Changi Airport has always been a national pride and joy to Singaporeans.  The Airport certainly proved to be a world-class airport that has received outstanding awards and accolades over the years.  With the unveiling of Terminal 4, Changi Airport has upped the ante, especially on the technology and Automation front.

The theme of Changi Terminal 4 is “vibrant, fun and surprisingly positive”, and strolling through the airport, there are funs and when you look around you will also notice surprising features lurking in places you might not expect. With petal motifs, an eclectic array of chairs and seating surfaces, and rounded lines permeating the space, the vibe of this terminal is certainly a change from that of Changi’s other terminals.

The most exciting of all would be a chance to encounter a loveable automated robot happily whizzing quietly pass you cleaning and mopping up the floor keeping T4 clean. The robot even will stop and wait patiently when it senses someone in front.   Want to take a selfie; the Robot will even stop to take selfies.  So Cool!  The robots are Changi’s newest staff at work.  I call her ‘Auntie Cleaning Robot.’ Auntie Cleaning Robot is dressed in the same yellow uniform as her ‘Human’ cleaning colleagues.

Changi Airport Group (CAG), in a bid to overcome a labour shortage on cleaning staff, is turning to automated robots to keep the newly-built Terminal 4 clean. The robots are expected to help reduce the airport’s need for manpower for housekeeping, Channel News Asia reports.

CAG has deployed four automated cleaning Aunties at the terminal.  This was after a thorough preparation that took about three years to implement.  CAG has plans to increase by adding six more in 2018. An attractive looking robot with cartoon character faces the robots each cost around $80,000.  Auntie Cleaning robots are able to cover up to 1,600 square metres per hour.

For the robots to function effectively, the terminal’s housekeepers are trained to programme the machines to do various job tasks, i.e. mopping, cleaning, and picking up small items that a scatted around the terminal floors. Interesting to note is that this robot beside cleaning the terminal floors, CAG has plans to use them to clean airport carparks and toilets.  CAG representative stated that this transformation will overall reduce housekeeping workforce by about 20 percent.

These robots are a compliment to assist the existing housekeepers in the airport.  Imaging cleaning the huge terminal-wide floor areas by themselves especially those above 65 years employees.  By using these Automated Auntie Robots will indeed make their life much easier.  Additionally, by working side by side with the robots is expected to make CAG employees better skilled. ​ In the near future, CAG will deploy these cleaning robots in Terminal 1 to 3 after they have studied to measure the robot’s efficacy at Terminal 4 are done.

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