Bathroom Cleaning Robot Alleviates Workload for Employees

How much would it be worth to you to never have to clean your bathroom ever again? Would a grand a month be too much? Well a start-up company called Somatic has developed a robot that will do your loo, top to bottom, pardon the pun.

According to a piece from, the startup, which is ostensibly based in the New York area (it’s a small, geographically dispersed team in search of a more permanent home) effectively came out of stealth onstage at TC Sessions: Robotics + AI at UC Berkeley.

Its first product is a large, commercial restroom cleaning robot.

Some cleaning robots are already operating at Walmarts and hospitals to clean up our floors and aisles. These take on the three D’s for employees: “dull, dirty and dangerous.” Mostly these bots are on duty when locations close up for the night and customers aren’t going to have to leap out of the way. Somatics has the advantage of its work areas being much pretty much similar in design and familiar with how a bathroom fixtures operate repetitively.

CEO Michael Levy compares the device to a “minifridge with a robot arm attached to the front.” Levy co-founded the company with CTO Eugene Zasoba.

“When I grew up, I did a bunch of jobs. He said, if you want to get to the register, you have start in the bathroom,” he explains. “The reason bathrooms are such a good application, because everything is bolted down to the floor. Things move in a predictable way. All commercial bathrooms built after 1994 are ADA compliant. What’s good for robotics is that lays a specific design.”

The static nature of most commercial restrooms means that robots only have to train on a space once. The team does the work remotely now, using a VR simulation of the bathroom to show the robot where to spray and wipe chemicals, vacuum and blow-dry. It’s an activity the team affectionately refers to as “the worst video game, ever.” Once all of that is in place, the robot uses a variety of sensors, including lidar, to navigate around.

This might be the best news on the internet for the thousands of questionable restrooms and whether to use them or not. It may even help improve the ability to battle the novel COVD-19 virus.

It’s not the first VR trained robotic program we have reported on, as Toyota also uses VR training. But the point is that now bathroom cleaning robots are a thing, those who hate that job may be rejoicing that a consumer version could be in the offing someday.