In any warehouse or industrial unit, there is always a threat of slips, trips, and falls. In fact, injuries that occur as a result of such slips and falls account for about 25% of all reported injury claims per fiscal year. Since dirty floors can exacerbate already dangerous conditions, it is more important than ever to invest in industrial floor scrubbers to clean each area properly.
Commercial floor cleaning has come a long way from standard brooms and mops. In fact, one company in San Diego is looking to push the envelope on cleaning even further, by introducing artificial technology into the world of scrubbers and sweepers.
Brain Corporation is a robotics startup that will soon allow giant floor cleaners to navigate autonomously. The goal behind this idea is to help janitors to maximize efficiency, while enabling the use of robotics in their janitorial work. As of right now, this is the only company on the market that exists as a training and certification program for janitors.
Many janitors are concerned about the possibility of automatic machines taking over their industry, therefore putting them out of a job. So, Brain Corp has decided to take feedback from union workers nationwide, in order to frame their machines as non-threatening in the eyes of organized labor workers.
“Getting unions on board is essential,” says Brain Corp’s vice president of marketing Phil Duffy, “The second you try and cut the union reps out, it’s doomed to fail.”
While the company isn’t speaking to the unions directly, it is receiving their feedback from customers who are predicting how unions might feel with the implementation of this product, and what practices can be improved.
The first prototype that will use artificial technology will be floor scrubbers. The technology will guide the movement of the machine, and will learn when to turn the scrubber on and off. According to the engineers, these robots will be incredibly easy to teach. They explain that this technology will be like teaching an animal or child by giving instructions, and that the machine will be intuitive and “smart” enough to remember each instruction.
Brain Corp hopes to implement the floor scrubbers training program by mid-2017.