Meet Ella. She’s filling a critical need. And she’s funny.

She cleans, she jokes, she doesn't take a lunch break and she costs about $1000 a month.

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Ella’s among more than 100 fully-autonomous robots that will be deployed in Singapore this year, as part of a solution to a labor shortage… of cleaners.

“They clean well, they work as a team, and also they support the human cleaners to do the mundane, the boring, and the dangerous jobs so the cleaners can do a lot more and be productive,” explained Dylan Ng, Co-founder of Lionsbot, in a video interview with the BBC.

Ella cleans floors at Singapore’s National Gallery. She doesn’t take lunch breaks, needs a charge every three hours, and can be rented for $1,000 a month.

Oh, and since she’s programmed with a sense of humor, she tells jokes. Here’s one for you:

How do trees access the internet?

They log on.

– Ella the Robot

So, is this the future of work? “You will see more and more of those robots in different workplaces outside of factories,” robotics expert Chen-I-Ming tells the BBC. “But it will not totally replace humans. It’s pretty much a human assistant.”

Like what you read? Check out more from my WorkingNation blog, The Looming Robot.

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