In 2018 we expect advanced commercial robotics to continue to emerge in many facets of everyday life. While there are already robots working in factories, this year we will increasingly see them in places like retail stores and in every day life.
Until now there has been a rise in industrial robots working in factories and manufacturing. According to robotiq.com “The number of industrial robots deployed worldwide is expected to increase to 2.6 million units by 2019. This would be one million units more than the record-breaking performance in 2015. Currently, 70% of industrial robots are working in the automotive, electrical, metal, and machinery industry.” This is a rise that has gone fairly unnoticed by those that are not in the manufacturing or robotics communities.
However according to Forbes magazine when speaking about a huge trend for 2018, “agile, trainable, lightweight robots aren’t just found on the factory floor, they’re showing up everywhere”. This is proving to be true. Just this past week there were eight robot bellhops deployed at the Sheraton Los Angeles Hotel San Gabriel. These robots have the ability to take guests where they want to go around the hotel, move their bags and deliver their food. According to Pasadena Star News, “what’s happening at the Sheraton is the just tip of the iceberg.” This is just one of the many ways that advanced commercial robotics are making life better for people.
Another exciting trend that we are seeing is the increase in floor cleaning robotics. According to the Robot Report “The International Federation of Robotics forecast that unit shipments for the global market for vacuum cleaning robots, lawn-mowing robots and other household cleaning robots will grow at a CAGR of 33% through 2019. Other research reports say revenue for the market will reach $2.5 billion by 2020 at a CAGR of 15%.” While our Own FX 250 is geared towards industrial cleaning, the fact that there is an increase in floor cleaning robotics is a trend that we will continue to follow and contribute to as we move forward into an easier and cleaner 2018.
At Discovery Robotics we firmly believe that robotics can increase human productivity, safety, and quality of life. Since we started, we’ve been fully focused on commercial cleaning with a specific emphasis on floor care.
In 2018 autonomous commercial floor cleaners like our FX250 are poised to have a bigger impact than they have had previously.
Below are two of the reasons why we believe the trend toward autonomous floor cleaning is gaining speed.
Autonomous Floor Cleaning Can Boost Productivity
As told in this article in Architect Magazine, a director of one of the primary commercial floor cleaning manufacturers reports that these robotic machines “…can improve the economics of cleaning by significantly boosting productivity, saving up to 80 percent on labor costs and using up to 85 percent less water and chemicals.”
From our own experience running a small cleaning company, we actually think that reinvesting those labor dollars can be an even better way to supercharge productivity. We have seen firsthand how time constrained an efficient cleaning team can be. We believe that the resulting reduction in labor hours from floor cleaning can be re-deployed in high-value, high-touch cleaning tasks for the human team.
Regardless of how the team is managed, it’s clear that automating the primary floor cleaning tasks can free up significant resources that boost overall productivity.
Recent Technical Enhancements Have Eliminated Many Earlier Pain Points
Some of the drawbacks to residential robot cleaners that are addressed in this Forbes article also plagued robots designed for large commercial spaces. The complaint that the “device can’t find it’s way home” stands out as a particular issue. Today’s autonomous commercial floor cleaners are smarter than their predecessors. The FX250 is capable of operating with full autonomy and can navigate with an understanding of its location within a facility. Even those commercial robots that lack complete autonomy can be programmed in a “teach and repeat” mode where they consistently and accurately follow a desired cleaning path through the facility.
Today's autonomous commercial floor cleaners are smarter and more efficient than their predecessors. It will be exciting to see what the future brings in 2018 and beyond.
Every year in Las Vegas, the Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) displays the newest innovations in consumer electronics to the world. This year’s event just happened and the newest and coolest gear in hi tech was revealed to the world. This year’s expo featured everything from an interactive treadmill to a card that held all of your other credit cards information. But one of the largest areas of emphasis was robotics. Below are 5 of our favorite robots from the CES 2018 expo.
5. LG Cloi
4. Aibdo dog
Sony’s Aibdo Dog gets our vote for the cutest robot that was showcased at CES. This robodog is able to do tricks, keep watch on your home when you are away using cameras, and is even able to differentiate between the humans that pet it the most.
3. Self-Driving car
While we Pittsburghers are no strangers to the self-driving Uber (we see those testing Volvo SUVs driving all around our city streets!), the autonomous self-driving car made a huge splash at CES. Many companies showcased their self-driving cars by using them as taxis for participants
2. Automated Suitcase
The Smart Luggage by Travel Mate Robotics was a complete hit at the convention. This product is an autonomous suitcase that uses AI to follow its owner through all types of terrain. With additional specs such as a GPS tracker, USB ports to charge electronics, and a scale that weights luggage, this robot is going to change the future of travel.
1. Window Cleaner
For those interested in autonomous floor cleaning, 2018 brings great promise. There were new developments in 2017 with robotic floor cleaning solutions appearing in retail outlets and hospitals, and we expect that trend to accelerate in the new year. Likely destinations for these autonomous floor cleaning robots include large spaces with high requirements for cleanliness and high foot traffic. Airports, convention centers, malls, and offices are all candidates for a new approach to floor cleaning.
One of last year’s most noteworthy developments was the introduction of robotic cleaning to Wal-Mart. In late November engadget.com posted an article about Walmart testing autonomous floor cleaning robots in their stores. While not everyone greeted the new robot with open arms, the robot is working to complement the rest of the staff in the five stores it is currently being tested in. In order for the partnership to work, a robot should be able to offload some of the repetitive, high-stress tasks from the human team, which allow the priority staff to focus on high value tasks requiring ingenuity and personality.
Another noteworthy development in autonomy in 2017 took place in the medical sector. Vanderbilt University is deploying robots to try and fight diseases that can come from healthcare. These robots use UV light to destroy infectious germs in hospital rooms.
We expect the rise in popularity of autonomous floor cleaning robots will continue throughout the year and we’re looking forward to what 2018 will bring!
Companies like Amazon and Sketchers are finding that the real workhorses of their company can be found in robots. Amazon alone has added over 30,000 robots to their warehouse staff since 2014. This may be slowing job growth for humans but these robots are only being used in the lowest skilled positions, allowing humans to find more skilled and higher paying positions. The increase robotic workforce is scary to some but inevitable and positive to others, making this a somewhat controversial issue. What do you think, could a robot do your job?
Check out the full article below:
Its a familiar story-- a robotics company and a cleaning giant work together to create what has been referred to as "an industrial roomba". It was evident that it was the year of the robot at the ISSA Interclean in Chicago this year. We enjoyed viewing it at the show and applaud Nilfisk and Carnegie Robotics on their floor cleaning robot. When it comes to cleaning robotics, we are in good company. Great minds think alike!
Check out more details about Nilfisk below:
Roland Saekow of the special projects department at the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley posted a video on his YouTube channel last Thursday and wrote its description: "My modified 10 year old Roomba Discovery 4210 features 600 RPM planetary gear motors, a dual 12A motor driver and is powered by a standard 14V Roomba battery." As you can imagine, the accompanying video shows a little robot vacuum with a lot of power and speed. But does all that speed lead to better clean?
Check out the full story and video by clicking below:
Elon Musk has announced that the main focus of his OpenAI Institute is to develop software that has the ability to turn an off-the-shelf robot into a robotic household cleaner. This is a daunting task because there is enormous amount of variables that must be taken into account when developing such a program. These robots will need to be able to correctly identify what kind of mess is before them in order to form the most efficient cleaning plan, while also being able to handle unexpected events.
Read about the many challenges facing this design by clicking below:
We're fascinated by all the developments in the world of robotics. Check back here to see what's new!