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!