Washroom TechnologyWe were fascinated to learn about Diversey Care’s acquisition of Intellibot Robotics, the pioneering creators of fully-autonomous floor care equipment who will enable Diversey Care to take their commercial cleaning and hygiene solutions to an exciting new level.

The expertise of Intellibot Robotics have allowed Diversey Care to revolutionise their signature TASKI floor cleaning machines, which were first developed 60 years ago, and the brand-new TASKI Intellibot range will enable facilities management to be more effective, productive and economical than ever.

This fantastic development has got us thinking about other recent innovations in washroom cleaning and hygiene that have recently arrived on the market. Intelligent cleaning solutions are nothing new, but now that developments like the TASKI Intellibot machines are enabling truly hands-free cleaning, it’s safe to say that facilities care solutions have entered a brand new era.

Getting a handle on Japanese toilets

Of course, Japan has been ahead of the curve for years, with technology-packed washrooms being such an integral part of their culture that you’ll find computerised washing facilities in even domestic households. Their famous (and often baffling) ‘smart toilets’ bear such features as motion-sensor controlled lids, self-warming seats, bidet functions, dryers, and even the ability to play music or ‘white noise’ to drown out other, less appealing sounds!

These techy toilets were previously considered to be a novelty by those outside of Japan, but the benefits of combining technology with toilets is being recognised more and more by the rest of the world – particularly because touch-free toilets are superior for hygiene. We’re all familiar with touchless flushing, but now many washroom fitting manufacturers outside of Japan are beginning to offer retrofit upgrades to toilets, such as Kohler’s Touchless Toilet kits that even lift the toilet lid hands-free, or toilets that come with a variety built-in innovations just like their Japanese equivalents.

Innovations with intelligence

But why should toilet technology only benefit the people actually using it? SCA Hygiene Products have considered the needs of washroom facilities managers too in their innovative, ‘intelligent’ Bloe toilet and urinals solution.

The web-based technology provides facilities managers with real-time data on toilet and urinal usage, so that washroom cleaning and supplies management can be adjusted according to the actual demand. Bloe also automates certain tasks including cleaning, water usage reduction, and even odour control, as its ventilation system circulates aromatic oils around the washroom to create a pleasant user experience. Speaking of which, Bloe-connected toilets and urinals even feature visual communication facilities with users in the form of integrated screens.

Also in the spirit of ‘clean smarter, not harder’ is the latest innovation from another of SCA’s brands, Tork. The Tork EasyCube is a small sensor placed inside an item of washroom equipment that feeds and analyses live usage data, such as toilet paper or soap dispensers, directly to facilities managers via their computers or smartphones so that they can re-stock as and when needed, and be aware of and anticipate high-traffic times of day.

The future of cleaning

While the TASKI Intellibot that we discussed earlier is an example of truly hands-free cleaning, it’s impossible to deny that the cost of such technology remains prohibitive to most businesses. However products like the cordless Cleantec Innovation I-Mop scrubber-dryer, which deep cleans and dries the floor at the same pace at which it is being moved so the floors can be safely used immediately, are much more affordable yet help to greatly reduce labour expenditure for businesses.

Which of these cleaning technology innovations are you most excited about, and will you be incorporating them into your business? Which other innovations should we know about? Leave us a comment below, as we’d love to hear your thoughts.