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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Robots will soon be roaming the halls of the secondary schools in the Rochester School District.

The Rochester School Board voted unanimously last night to approve the purchase of seven autonomous floor scrubbers at a cost of just over $455,000. District officials say the robotic machines can be programmed to automatically clean the floors of the middle and high schools and free up maintenance staff to take care of other duties. They noted the maintenance staff has been strained by the more intense cleaning required because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the autonomous scrubbers should help with that situation, especially with the expectation the school district will eventually shift to a hybrid instruction model in the secondary schools.

Despite the higher cost for the robotic scrubbers, school officials anticipate the investment will pay for itself within 2 to 3 years. The funding for the purchase is coming from the approximately $5 million awarded to the school district in federal COVID grants.

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