Globally, mosques - the place of worship for Muslims - have always been a talking point for their magnificent architecture, intricate carvings and the dome structure. In fact several countries’ main tourist attraction are their mosques, take for instance the Grand Mosque of Bursa in Turkey or even closer to home, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
With hundreds of Muslims offering their prayers together in congregation five times a day at mosques, maintaining proper hygiene becomes very essential. Apart from the worshippers, there are tourists who also visit these mosques to experience the beauty and tranquility that they offer. Thus, there are chances that high human traffic and pollution may lead to different health issues for visitors. This calls for daily cleaning and disinfecting of the carpets and floors. The administration bodies in these mosques deploy a team for cleaning the carpets floors and the external courtyards round the clock. However, at times it becomes difficult to disinfect the carpets on a daily basis when the crowd is in huge numbers.
The cleaning regime
Furthermore, mosque carpets are prone to becoming a breeding ground for a lot of microorganisms and fungus. For carpet cleaning, use of washing and sweeping machines and for disinfecting use of fogging machines are common practices. Additionally, chemicals such as carpet shampoo and disinfectants especially alcohol, QAC-based and nano-silver are also a part of the cleaning exercise. However, one of the biggest disadvantages of using such products is the residue they leave behind. This residue can result in people contracting skin allergies from walking barewfoot on the carpets or breathing in the chemical residue when the worshippers bend down in a kneeling position to pray.
A Turkey based start-up named Turnaco Robotics has developed a technological solution called ‘Mouro’. “The idea of a mosque robot originated when we heard that two old men who have breathing problems and cataract had difficulties when they went to their local mosques. Their doctor advised them that going to public places like a mosque would affect their health negatively. On the other hand, I have also experienced odour at the mosques that I have been visiting. I had a word with an Imam, and he mentioned that it is a problem to keeping the mosque clean especially during festive months when the crowd is huge. That's when we thought only a robot can overcome this problem,” says Kerem Sencan, Director General, Turnaco Robotics.
The company was established in 2017 and develops disinfection and service robots that cater to mosques, hospitals, schools, food factories and hotels. “Our main working area is autonomous robotics and electronic disinfection using Green Environment Technology. We have launched Mouro, a first of its kind carpet hygiene robot prototype in the world, which is an all in one solution for daily disinfection and vacuuming. It features an innovative technological solution developed using high power UV-C rays and an adequate concentration of ozone along with a high power vacuum for collecting dust from carpets. Equipped with an integrated electronic system and software algorithm that scan the entire environment, this robot can be controlled by a mobile application,” explains Dr. Vedat Tavas, CTO, Turnaco Robotics.
With the advent of robotics in the field of cleaning and disinfection, Mouro, comes as a relief in the cleaning management of mosques. However, that doesn’t limit its use to just mosques - the technology is applicable to several other facilities where carpets are used regularly, including hotels and offices. Currently, Mouro is at its prototype stage and with potential investors it can be further developed into a unique solution that will revolutionise carpet cleaning.