Cleaning robot entertains sufferers and staff in German hospital

20 February, 2021
A Munich medical center introduced a cleaning robot named Franzi that not merely ensures the flooring surfaces are spotless, but also cheers up people and staff through the pandemic.

"Can you re-locate the way, please? I need to tidy," trills the robot in German, when persons block her pre-programmed washing route.

"You must move! I really want to completely clean!" she squeaks at those who still do not get out of the way. And if that fails, digital tears commence to stream from her LED-light eyes.

"Visitors are not allowed during the pandemic, thus Franzi entertains the sufferers a bit," stated Constance Rettler of Dr Rettler, the company in charge of cleaning Neuperlach hospital, which furnished the robot.

Three times a evening, Franzi bustles through the clinic's access hall, her feet immediately mopping the floors. Amused patients take photos of her, plus some actually stop to talk with the metre-high robot.

"Ah, now there you are my pal," said one elderly lady with a drip in her arm upon catching sight of Franzi.

"Among our recent people came down 3 x a day to talk to her," explained Tanja Zacherl, who oversees medical center maintenance.

Created by a company in Singapore, Franzi was at first called Ella and spoke English ahead of coming to Munich this year.

Yet her German is perfect as she tells her interviewers that she "hardly ever wants to increase up" and that cleaning is her passion.

When prompted, she may also sing vintage German pop tracks and even rap.

Ms Rettler said the robot isn't taking jobs from real humans, instead she is used to aid her flesh-and-blood colleagues, who have become harder to recruit during the coronavirus pandemic.

"With the pandemic, there is certainly lots of extra disinfecting do the job to be achieved in hospitals," Ms Rettler explained. "While Franzi is washing the flooring surfaces, our employees can focus on doing that."

After a test phase of weeks, she seems to have settled in at the Neuperlach hospital and Ms Rettler's company has decided to keep her right now there permanently instead of use her elsewhere.