Teresa Escrig

News and oppinion about Cognitive AI & Robotics

Autonomous scrubber machines: is the market ready for them?


11.19.12Cognitive Robots’ first product was the incorporation of our Cognitive Brain for Service Robotics (R) into commercial scrubber machines. This allows any existing commercial scrubber machine to be easily transformed into an autonomous and intelligent robot, that cleans floors, without the need of a human operator.

Did you know that, the operator of a scrubber machine has to follow the same path/pattern every single time they clean an area? It’s true, because otherwise people would be able to perceive the lines of movement of the scrubber on the floors, which are not considered aesthetically pleasing. The main corridors of an airport or a supermarket need to be cleaned longitudinally.

This job is so boring that industrial scrubber machines are increasingly being destroyed by the operators earlier and earlier. Therefore, scrubber manufacturers have changed their machines to be cheaper and with less electronics, resulting in lower life expectancy for their product.  The downside of this, is that in the long-term, due to replacement costs, end-user’s will spend more money to service their clients.

We are now in the midst of a global debate that is exploring the question, “Are robots taking jobs away or providing jobs for people?”  In the current economic climate, we need to decide if we want to maintain the status quo to protect low-profile jobs; or embrace advances that allow us to become more competitive and effective in our jobs, promote learning new skills, and provide jobs where human creativity and intelligence are necessary.

What do we want?

Here it is the specification sheet of the autonomous scrubber machine that Cognitive Robots can provide: specification sheet scrubber machines

Is this product good enough to solve the problem of automatic cleaning?

Is the market ready for this?  What do you think?

2 Responses to 'Autonomous scrubber machines: is the market ready for them?'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Autonomous scrubber machines: is the market ready for them?'.

  1. Hi Arnout,

    Thank you for your replay, it is very valuable for us.

    I will answer your questions…

    The main sensor of the system is the Sick laser, and it is by far the most expensive component of the whole system.
    However, the total investment on the autonomous machine can be recovered in less than one year, by reducing the cost of the salary of one person. That person should be reallocated to do another activity that requires abilities that the machines do not have yet.

    We have also included our Cognitive Brain into machines without steering construction, although it is a little bit more complicated in the prototyping phase. It also have other problems of stability (the person who pusses the machine behind also stabilize it).

    Regarding cleaning performance, we do need to do further testing to provide % of surface skipped. With respect to the parallel lines, the performance is nice, because we don’t use only dead-reckoning to move the machine but we also measure distances to the environment.

    Teresa Escrig

    15 Mar 13 at 1:12 am

  2. Is this market ready for this? Depending on the price point, I think yes. The customers won’t want to break their bank on a fleet of these things, but they’d definitely want the functionality.

    Are robots taking away jobs? In this case, I guess so, but it also doesn’t sound like the employees are working too hard to keep their jobs either. It might be a boring job, but it’s definitely a job. If they’re breaking down machines earlier and earlier just because the job is boring, they’re begging their employers to switch to autonomous machines that won’t run into things, never get bored, and can run 24/7 without degrading quality.


    15 Mar 13 at 3:27 pm

Leave a Reply