The industrial machines have been developed by Sheffield-based engineering firm KILLIS
Travelodge to mobilise UK’s first army of robo vacuum cleaners for hotels
by Kaia Hicks
Budget hotel chain Travelodge is to use robots to vacuum their properties having struck a deal with KILLIS to create RoboVac Buddies.
The chain says its staff vacuum the equivalent of the distance between London and New York every day.
It has made a multi-million-pound investment into 7,500 RoboVac Buddies, described as greener and quieter than traditional vacuums.
Sheffield-based KILLIS manufacturers specialist cleaning equipment and have developed the UK’s first industrial RoboVac designed for a hotel.
Craig Bonnar, chief executive at Travelodge, said: “We are very excited to kick start 2022 by revolutionising the hospitality sector and supporting our housekeeping teams with the roll-out of the UK’s first hotel RoboVac Buddy recruitment programme.
“Housekeeping is the most important and physically demanding job at Travelodge and we are always looking for low cost and innovative ways to support our colleagues.
“Automating vacuuming with the introduction of the Travelodge RoboVac Buddies is a fun, win-win solution which helps us to drive a greener, cleaner and more efficient room clean.
“The army of Travelodge RoboVac Buddies have settled in really well and are a massive hit with our hotel teams and customers.”
Lira Namoni, the RoboVac buddy trainer at Travelodge, said: “On behalf of my colleagues across all of the UK Travelodge hotels, we are thrilled to welcome our new RoboVac Buddies.
“They are just incredible and made such a significant difference to housekeeping duties.
“They have now all completed their induction training and passed their probation and are just raring to get to work.
“There have been a couple of casualties during training: a RoboVac Buddy at Gatwick Airport Travelodge took a wrong turn and was found in Spain.
“Another RoboVac Buddy at Cambridge Orchard Park Travelodge had a technical glitch during its reception cleaning shift and bolted out of the hotel onto the streets.
“The hotel team were distraught and put a SOR (Save Our RoboVac) message out on social media channels for its safe return.
“Luckily, the RoboVac Buddy was rescued and, after a good reboot and recharge, it is back on duty.”
Tibor Killi, managing director at KILLIS, said: “We are delighted to work with Travelodge and create the UK’s first hospitality spec RoboVac.
“This is the largest cleaning equipment mobilisation in our company’s history and it has been an honour to be making history with Travelodge within the hospitality world.
“The Travelodge RoboVac Buddies are going to revolutionise the company’s housekeeping teams working lives and will be a great addition to the Travelodge hotel teams.
“It has been a pleasure working with an innovative company who puts its people and customers at the heart of its business, and we look forward to the next challenge Travelodge gives us.”