A toilet monitoring system that can ‘sniff out’ when toilets need to be cleaned has helped cleaning supervisors in Singapore improve response time, prioritise duties and use their resources more efficiently.
The technology, called the Restroom Visitiliser System, tracks how heavily public restrooms are used and uses a sensor to measure the odour levels of ammonia (which is found in urine) and hydrogen sulphide (which is found in faeces).
The system was invented by research engineers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) in Singapore back in 2013, and has been on trial in more than 60 public toilets in Singapore over the past two years, in places like the Singapore Zoo and River Safari.
The system has been licensed to a local enterprise called Convergent Smart Technologies that says the technology has received good reviews from cleaning contractors.
“Many public toilets are cleaned regularly during the day, regardless of how frequently they are used,” said A*Star’s Infocomm research industry development manager Dennis Quek.
“Cleaners have a roster for them to go and check the toilets up to six times a day, leading to manpower wastage. Some cleaning firms also act on complaints, most of which are about smell.”
Mr Quek revealed that there was a 30 per cent improvement in manpower productivity based on the results from toilets that tested the system.
“The new technology offers a ‘clean on demand’ option, allowing supervisors to deploy resources more efficiently,” Mr Quek explained.
“One cleaner can take care of more toilets – some which aren’t so heavily used – and he doesn’t have to walk around to physically check the toilets.”
‘To encourage more building owners to adopt the system, Convergent Smart Technologies signed an agreement this year with the Restroom Association Singapore (RAS)’.
“We are urging building owners to adopt the technology to better maintain toilet cleanliness and meet higher standards,” said RAS executive director Emerson Hee.