Embracing innovation in facilities services with autonomous floor care.
From new Internet of Things (IoT) devices to robotics, technology is changing the way the facilities services industry maintains the places the world works, learns, and lives. We’re excited about many of these innovations, as they enable us to deliver better, more efficient service, and we’re working to integrate them at client sites across the U.S. and Canada.
At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac), we recently implemented a fleet of six self-driving floor care machines. These machines, equipped with advanced artificial intelligence software, are able to complete floor cleaning tasks without direct operator control. This means that the cleaning staff is free to focus on higher value tasks, and that the workflow of cleaning the airport is made more efficient. Additionally, the use of autonomous floor care machines ensures reliable, efficient, and thorough floor cleaning throughout the airport.
“While the machine is running, we’re free to multitask on something else,” says Veejay, one of the machine operators. “It’s convenient, it’s more efficient for every janitor that’s working the tech floor crew.”
How autonomous, self-driving floor scrubbers work.
Implementing the fleet of floor cleaners at Sea-Tac was a relatively simple process. It only took a handful of operator-controlled routes before the machines’ multilayered sensors had scanned the environment and developed a detailed digital map. Once the machines had a completed map of the environment, they were able to operate on their own. We didn’t have to make any costly infrastructure modifications, and the machines aren’t reliant on signal-based GPS.
The machines can also seamlessly receive the latest software updates via remote connection, meaning that they can stay up-to-date with minimal troubleshooting.
Self-driving floor scrubbers are the ideal teammate.
Since the floor cleaners were implemented we have seen an increase in efficiency and productivity at Sea-Tac. This is primarily due to the machines enabling the cleaning team to focus on higher value tasks or special projects. Additionally, in order to maximize the benefits presented by the floor scrubbers, the team reorganized the order with which they carry out tasks.
The floor cleaners are also incredibly safe. If they sense that people are around they will slow down and give them a wide birth. If they get too close to an unexpected obstacle, they will pause their cleaning and send an operator a text message, asking them to go and inspect the environment. The machine will only start cleaning again once the operator has entered the code provided in the text.
Providing excellent performance data.
Another powerful benefit provided by the floor cleaners is their ability to collect data about performance and utilization. This data can be compiled and turned into either weekly or monthly reports that provide things like usage maps; the amount of square footage cleaned; areas where the machine encountered unexpected obstacles; and the time the machine spent cleaning.
Tracking innovation in facilities services.
While some businesses see innovation as a threat, we’re embracing new technologies and ideas, and, as a result, are raising the value of facilities across the U.S. and Canada. Read more about how we used performance data to improve our operations at a major college campus.
Get inspired and read more stories about how we’re embracing new innovative technologies.
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