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the lack of operating knowledge and/or product training as reasons. Technophobia and the fear of job loss may be the real reason behind this. Site managers interviewed had qualms about how robots can improve productivity as some of these robots could not reach certain locations and, worst of all, some robots had to be manually retrieved by the cleaners as batteries deplete in the middle of a cleaning run; thus eliminating any productivity gains.
The above does not mean that autonomous cleaning is not suitable, rather, it will push all suppliers to rethink and relook into the design of their robotic cleaners in the field of usability and improvement of Artificial Intelligence. Similar to autonomous vehicles, I believe that we are at the cusp of a truly autonomous cleaning
revolution and I believe that a more suitable robotic cleaning solution is near. Meanwhile, service providers must continue to intensify its training of its workforce. Such training may be in product knowledge but based on the survey findings, service providers must consider change management training as well.
Lastly, the COVID-19 situation has not only disrupted many lives and businesses, but it has also highlighted the shortcomings of many industries. It is a catalyst of change for many and particularly for the environmental services/cleaning industry. It is now up to both service buyers and providers to start making the necessary changes to ensure the sustainability of their premises and businesses and ultimately to keep Singapore clean and liveable.

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