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With dozens of robot vacuum cleaner models on the market and millions sold each year, it is no surprise that they have become one of the top holiday gifts. Chances are that you or someone you know has received one.

The iRobot Roomba seems to have started it all when they hit the market in 2002 and they have continued to improve features year after year. Since then, competitors have entered the marketplace, such as the Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac, Shark IQ, Ecovacs Deebot, Samsung PowerBot, and Neato Botvac.

Robotic vacuum cleaner working on laminate wooden floor
Businesspeople at office desk

Right about now, someone is asking themselves if they can use their new domestic robot to clean their office. The short answer is … probably not. While they seem to be getting better, robot vacuums are designed for light use. In fact, a recent lab test by Consumer Reports showed that the suction of a high-end robot vacuum picked up less than half the volume of dust collected by a manually operated upright vacuum cleaner.

A house has a small number of occupants, a relatively consistent floorplan, an easily controllable environment, light-duty cleaning requirements, and consistent floor and carpet surfaces, making it more suitable for automated assistance. Retail, commercial, and office spaces tend to have a much higher number of occupants, shifting layouts, closed doors, heavier floor traffic, and varying floor and carpet surfaces, which are all problematic for robot vacuum cleaners.

There are other barriers to domestic robot use in a business environment — loose electric cords, varying floor surfaces, multiple obstacles, limited battery life, and much larger floor areas. Some robots have been known to spread gooey messes from room to room or temporarily get lost by losing their navigation signal when operating too far from the charging base.

Professional decision-making often comes into play, especially with spot cleaning, such as removing gum from carpets or lifting black marks from hard surfaces. Automated floor cleaners lack the capacity for adapting to environments.

“Nothing can replace the decision-making capabilities of a professional cleaning crew. Robot vacuum cleaners cannot spot clean, move light objects, or open office doors. Additionally, our staff is trained to look beyond the tasks at hand and identify potential safety hazards or preventative maintenance issues,” said John Salido, Janitorial Division Manager at CAM Property Services.


You should also be aware that if your building houses a government organization, there may be rules within the building lease or collective bargaining agreement which prohibits the use of robotic cleaning devices.

If still inclined to give it a try, be prepared for a less than satisfying result when attempting to use a robot vacuum cleaner to clean your office.

For those interested in a more fulfilling office floor and carpet cleaning experience, professional building maintenance and cleaning services are the way to go. Contact CAM Property Services, a leader in professional property maintenance throughout California for commercial, industrial, multi-family, and institutional properties. Contact Us


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