Imagine this; your office department gets cleaned during the weekend. It is fresh and clean, and everyone loves it. But then Bob eats cake like a child leaving crumbs everywhere, and Jane does not empty her paper punch carefully hence paper confetti everywhere. The cleaners are only supposed to come back the next weekend. The office looks disastrous, and visitors from the head department will be visiting the very next day.

What do you do?

Well, some technological geniuses at Fraunhofer IAO are developing a vacuum cleaner specifically modeled to clean the office. This robot is programmed to do the cleaning via Outlook.

The office workers schedule a cleaning session on Outlook which an iRobot Roomba 650 lines up with the most urgent on top, and if there is any time clash, it suggests another open time slot. No room is left dirty as the Roomba syncs with conference room bookings and makes sure that room is clean and ready for use before every meeting booked in there.

The vacuum cleaner comes equipped with the virtual map which directs it from its charging station to the office rooms it needs to clean. It plays a selected tune signaling it needs the door opened to go and do its job. When done, it heads back to its charging station.

The people at Fraunhofer IAO have had their first concept work done wonderfully and are now adding improvements so that it will not need any human interactions, especially when it comes to opening the doors. They would like to implement speech prompts or have smart doors that will work smartly with the Roomba.

To remove any restrictions from the Roomba vacuum cleaner, Fraunhofer IAO has incorporated the Roomba’s ecosystem to the ENTOURAGE research project which will give it the leeway to communicate with speech assistants from the likes of Siri from Apple and Alexa from Google.

There is a great future ahead to how work environments get cleaned.