Can a robot revolutionize the hotel industry?

If 19-year-old Micah Green gets his way, his new housekeeping robot will be on the market by 2017. Maidbot is still a prototype, but the young inventor from upstate New York hopes it will help hotel staff make beds and vacuum floors.

TRANSCRIPT

Because in the future the housekeeper might just be a robot, Maidbot will help hotel staff make beds and vacuum floors, and, according to its young inventor from upstate New York, the Maidbot will lift a major weight off the staff shoulders.

Take a look.

If 19-year-old entrepreneur Micah Green gets his way, a new housekeeping robot he created will be on the market by 2017.

Maidbot is still in prototype stage, and once complete, Green says it will help take the hotel industry by storm.

It's been the same, for, like, over a hundred years.

The biggest innovation in housekeeping has been the electric vacuum, which came out in 1905.

Maidbot will assist hotel-housekeeping staff to clean the floors, and it will eventually make beds and help maintain the bathrooms.

The team of eight from Ithaca, New York, says the lightweight machine will do more than just save time.

It'll save someone's neck, literally.

Robotics in general focuses on dull, dirty, or dangerous tasks.

So, housekeeping encompasses all of those.

Studies show that maids and housekeepers have one of the highest injury rates in the hotel industry and in the entire private sector.

Coming in at around 40%, back injuries are the most commonly reported, followed by pains in the hand and wrist and shoulder.

A lot of injuries aren't reported, and especially among this kind of workforce because they're part-time workers.

Sometimes they're contract workers, and they're probably at risk of losing their jobs.

Grant Esler lectures about OSHA guidelines at Rochester Institute of Technology.

He says ergonomic injuries are more subject to underreporting simply because they're not as obvious.

Muscular-skeletal injuries are difficult to identify as work-related.

It could happen when you're playing softball or picking up your kid at home.

I find this fascinating.

But how is this gonna be able to clean my floor and make my bed?

So, this is the first step in that direction, but this guy's gonna focus on the floors.

And essentially what we're doing here is we're creating the robotic vacuum, where the power will be in the center, and then we'll have the intake.

Maidbot's omnidirectional wheels roll forward like normal wheels but can slide sideways and won't skid when it turns.

David Moroniti is in charge of the technology.

This is the transmitter the team is using to test the product.

Now, for tradition aircraft, you use this throttle stick you want to hold in a certain position.

So, if I want to go forward at a certain rate, I can leave it there.

Maidbot will make its rounds to a few hotels this spring so staff can check it out.

More than anything, the startup's boss says he wants his invention to make a real difference in people's lives.

We're not trying to just sell robots.

We're trying to sell time.

And if you just imagine the time that we could save by creating a product that does it for you completely autonomously?

To me, that's amazing.