More than 20% of American vacuums are now robots. Juniper Research claims that 10% of U.S. households will have a robot by 2020. Most of those robots will be vacuums. But robot floor cleaners are not just for home use. Walmart is pushing out a fleet of 360 floor-scrubbing robots by January 2019.
The floor cleaning robots are designed to be able to work safely around human workers and customers. Associates can train them to follow a set path through the store and send them out to work with a single button.
The machines, created by Brain, a San Diego startup, are already working in airports. They gather data through various sensors and upload it to the cloud, so they have the potential to work in security applications as well.
As floor scrubbers, they free up human workers to provide customer service, according to Walmart.
Helen Greiner of iRobot was inspired by R2D2 of Star Wars to devote her life to robotics. Her company, iRobot , began with two practical robots: a military robot called PackBot which found and disarmed bombs and land mines, and the Roomba. Both robots could figure out the best way to navigate every inch of given space. That’s what it takes to make an autonomous floor cleaner.
Roomba has become wildly successful, even in a field which now contains many competitors.
Cleaning floors is arguably a job that human beings shouldn’t have to do. Once autonomous floor-cleaning robots were developed, human beings should be freed of the tedium and physical challenge of scrubbing floors. Or even vacuuming them.
What allows this liberating technology? Servo motors. Motors that can cause a machine to move to point X and stop are essential for robots in general, and certainly for autonomous floor scrubbing robots. We specialize in Rexroth electronic industrial servo motors, drives, and controls. If you need service for your Rexroth electric motion control systems, call us for immediate assistance.