Automating with Robot Floor Cleaners? Here’s #7 Factors to Consider
The benefits of using an auto sweeper robot or robotic scrubber-dryer to automate floor cleaning in your workplace are increasingly clear; robot cleaners free up staff to focus on higher value work, consistently deliver cleaning results and operate out of hours for minimal interruption.
But what are the key considerations when you’re looking to automate floor cleaning at your workplace? Here’s #7 factors you should consider when embarking on your journey with robotic floor cleaners:
Auto sweeper robot navigation systems come in a multitude of names, but essentially there are four navigation methods; GPS, landmarks, scan matching or teach and repeat. The correct method of navigation for your workplace will depend on a number of factors including how frequently the environment changes, how many different cleaning tasks or routes your robot will need to complete, complexity of the area and total size of the floor space. There’s pro’s and con’s for all methods, but invariably leading warehouse floor cleaning robots like the SweepXL use landmarks or scan matching.
Whilst mapping methods vary depending on choice of navigation, the better map you create for the stronger foundation you build for robot success. Most high quality commercial mapping methods will require a number of hours (and days) to create rather than a quick fix. However a good quality mapping system should also be future proofed, so that changes to your workplace are simple to adjust in the robot map.
#2 How is Your Workplace Mapped by the Robot
Not all floor cleaning robots are created equal. Some require users to transport the robot to a starting point to commence cleaning, empty out the tanks when the cleaning tasks are completed, or connect the battery charger when needed. If you’re looking for a truly autonomous cleaning robot, look for a robot which incorporates a docking station (like the CR700) which includes filling and emptying of the water tank and battery charging all baked in.
#4 Connectivity and Security
On installing your robotic floor cleaner, most providers will help you compile a cleaning schedule for the robot to complete every day, week or month. When considering which robotic floor cleaner suits you best consider whether it’s simple for you to adjust or change the cleaning schedule on the fly, either with once off cleaning missions or recurring cleaning tasks. And don’t forget to look at the reporting system – you should expect to access clear and concise reports showing you what cleaning tasks the robot has completed.
What safety features will your auto sweeper robot need to operate in your workplace? Unlike humans, robots cannot expect the unexpected, so safety and compliance should be an area you thoroughly explore when evaluating different robotic floor cleaners. The leading robot designs will always have multiple layers of safety to protect users and surrounding even in the event of one system failing. Typically this can be a mix of ultrasonic sensors or 3D time of light (TOL) cameras which create a ‘virtual’ picture of their environment. If the robot safety and navigation system collects real images always remember to consider whether information is stored in a GDPR compliant manner.
#6 Robot Safety and Compliance
Automating floor cleaning makes manual scrubbing and drying a thing of the past. But don’t forget to consider whether you’ll need a manual cleaning mode. Often robotic floor cleaners feature this option, so that you can choose to spot clean or react to once off requirements quickly and efficiently.
Some Closing Thoughts
In addition to the above, there’s three other factors you should consider. These relate to cleaning expectations rather than the robot technology piece:
What’s the Correct Floor Cleaning Method?
It may seem a basic ask, but have you considered what floor cleaning method you need? Most warehouse and industrial locations benefit from robotic floor sweepers to sweep and vacuum debris and dust from the floor. Whereas factories and food / pharma warehouses need to scrub and dry the floor using a robotic scrubber-dryer to remove grime and ingrained dirt. Specifying the correct floor cleaning method will ensure you get the best cleaning results – after all that’s how you’ll create clean in your workplace!
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When Do you Clean the Floor?
Universal rules of productivity mean the most efficient time to clean your floors is when there’s the least traffic or interruption. Typically this is at night but unsociable work hours often mean cleaning is completed during the day at peak time. Being as robots can operate day or night you may wish to rethink cleaning schedules to clean floor spaces more efficiently with less interruption to your daily work flows.
How often will you be Cleaning the Entire Floor Space?
Autonomous floor cleaners won’t always match the productivity of manual floor cleaner machines when comparing hourly floor coverage. However as long as they cover the entire space within the required frequency (e.g. once per week) you’ll stand to make some impressive savings in labour costs. Once you’ve established how frequently you’re cleaning the entire floor space computing ROI is very straightforward.