Cleaning robot in the healthcare sector


“Digitalisation helps to better protect the health of our personnel.”

At the rehabilitation centre Berufsförderungswerk Bad Wildbad with the Heinrich Sommer Clinic, people who have to reorient their lives because of illness or accidents are able to prepare for their professional and private future. As everyday life continues, the cleaning robot Marvin takes care of floor cleaning in the entrance area. Head of Housekeeping Ms. Ingrid Kollmer and her employees wouldn’t know what to do without Robomatic Marvin anymore.

Ms. Kollmer, why is thorough cleaning so important in your workplace? 
In a medical institution, thorough cleaning is absolutely essential to prevent the spread of bacteria and ensure the safety of patients.

You have modernised the process for cleaning your floors. What drove you to take this step, and why now exactly? 
We are planning to construct a new clinic, and digitalisation is a central topic in this process. Three factors were decisive: First, the cleaning standard should remain high. Technology is capable of achieving a level of hygiene nowadays that we can no longer match by hand. Second, our long-term employees are getting older, and cleaning involves more physical strain. Digitalisation provides them with relief. Third, we want to teach our employees not to be afraid of modernisation. We will have to live with technology and showcase the advantages. We are considering the integration of technologies in other areas as well, not just for cleaning.

So in the course of digitalisation, you decided on Wetrok’s cleaning robot. How much time do you save thanks to the robot?
For the entire building, we save up to four hours per day.

And which tasks exactly is the robot used for?
Marvin cleans all the floors in the entire building, except for carpets. That is a floor area of around 5,400 m2. We have tiled floors, PVC, linoleum, safety tiles in the swimming pool area and parquet in the gym hall.

How did you clean the floors before purchasing Robomatic Marvin?
Before we introduced Marvin in September 2023, the entire team cleaned the floors manually using the mop.

Which tasks are you able to dedicate more focus to now since you exchanged the mop for the robot?
We concentrate more on other tasks, for example preparing rooms when switching patients.

Since procuring Marvin, you also use Wetrok’s disposable Masslinn dust cloths. What made you decide to use them?
Because Marvin doesn’t clean all the way into the corners, we use the Masslinn cloths for dust-binding mopping around the corners. For these cloths, the motto is “One cloth per room”, and this helps us to prevent cross-contamination. We have several Wetrok products and are more than satisfied with them overall. But we are most impressed with Marvin.

What impresses you about Marvin? Which aspects?
We are impressed how much the robot helps us. With Marvin, we gain more time for other tasks. Thanks to the integrated dosing system, we also use cleaning products and water based on precise need, which is resource-friendly and saves costs.

How long did you test Marvin for?
Marvin was presented to us, but in order to thoroughly test the device, we had to work with the robot every day in the building. A test period of three or four days is not enough for that. In our clinic, there are approximately 70 paraplegic wheelchair users. That’s why it was critical for us to learn whether a robot was perceived as a help or a hindrance, and whether it is reasonable to use during everyday routines. That’s why we started using Marvin directly in everyday clinic life. Of course, we tested the robot as well. And we are thrilled that the robot fulfils its promises.

What are the challenges of cleaning at your rehabilitation centre?
Especially right now, in winter, the entrance area is a major challenge. The moisture and salt from the road are carried out in the facility, so Marvin covers this area every day. The rubber marks from the wheelchairs are also stubborn and look unsightly on the floors. In addition, the corridors are very busy with patients, care staff and visitors. One challenge is to make sure that Marvin navigates around them if they are standing directly in front of the robot. But we can rely on him. He always stops or turns away, depending on the situation.

How do patients react to Marvin?
Marvin avoids them, but some people see him as a toy and have a blast trying to test him (laughs). Some people even say “Good morning” to Marvin. He’s like our pet. His presence relaxes the mood, and everyone likes having him around.

And how did your staff members react when you brought in the robot?
It’s important for me to emphasise that my staff reacted very positively and were open to this new technology! They demonstrated courage to integrate this innovation into their everyday work routines. Our employee Ms. Galinec, who has become a Marvin specialist, had no previous experience with robots or the like. Handling the robot improved her self-confidence and allowed her to discover new aspects and interests for herself that she hadn’t previously dared to explore. In this case, digitalisation also led to positive developments among staff. The internal perception of the household has also benefited from Marvin.

You previously mentioned that you also have other Wetrok devices in the building.
Yes, we have one scrubber-dryer, one eccentric-action machine, one extractor, one single-brush machine, one wet vacuum and one cleaning cart.

Why do you still need the classic push-sweeper scrubber-dryer Mambo when you now have Mambo, which you can also operate manually?
Mambo is intended for our large classrooms. The machine is currently used in parallel to Marvin in the main building. It is more efficient for us if both machines are operating simultaneously. The two devices also complement one another very well. Mambo is a bit more agile and accesses corners more easily.

How big does a floor area have to be to make a cleaning robot recommendable in your opinion?
I believe that the floor area is certainly a factor, but the frequency of cleaning is equally crucial. In our institutions, the cleaning frequency is high and we also have phases with deep cleaning, for example during the summer holidays. Then we put away the furniture and clean the rooms rigorously. Using Marvin makes work much easier for our employees, who previously had to handle large areas with the mop. It’s not just about cleanliness, it’s also about the posture of our staff. Cleaning with a mop places considerable strain on the back and entire body.

This means you also made the change to the robot because you care about ergonomics and having a healthy work environment for your employees?
That is absolutely true, yes. It’s also about protecting the health of our employees. As I previously mentioned, the entire team used to clean the floors manually using the mop. In particularly, cleaning the entrance area was a challenge. And the sliding doors were constantly opening while our staff were sweating, which caused them to catch cold because of the draughts.

Who would you recommend to use Marvin?
I would recommend Marvin to anyone who needs to clean large areas. Whether industrial facilities, shopping centres, hospitals or healthcare institutions. Marvin ensures thorough cleaning and is a useful investment, especially in the care sector.

Are you planning to procure more robots?
Since we will have to cover double the space when the new clinic is constructed, we are considering purchasing another robot. The experience we are gaining now will help us with this decision.

Are there any improvements you would suggest for Marvin?
A friendly face in the form of stickers would be nice. That would definitely make people happy, particularly children and the elderly.

Learn more about the robot:
Robomatic Marvin