How The Budd Group Implements Robotics for Commercial Carpet Care

Robots are all around us these days – they might not look, sound, or function quite like the most iconic androids in popular culture, but there’s no denying that artificial intelligence, high-tech software, and robotic technologies are becoming more and more integrated with every part of our lives. We recently explored this increasing prevalence of robotics across all industries in our blog, “The Rise of Robotics – What to Consider.” In that article, we discussed how automation enhances worker productivity and increases consistency throughout a facility, albeit alongside proper human oversight.

The cleaning industry is one of many beneficiaries of this technological renaissance, and The Budd Group knows this well. We began utilizing robotics in earnest in 2019 to aid with various maintenance tasks for our clients. Though initially intended primarily for large retail stores, these machines have now been adapted for daily use in higher education institutions, industrial facilities, airports, and more. Every day, the machines we deploy scrub, sweep, or vacuum hundreds of thousands of square feet of flooring for countless facilities.

Let’s dive deeper into how we at The Budd Group are leading the charge in applying state-of-the-art robotics for commercial carpet care, floor care, and cleaning purposes at large.

Robotics for Commercial Carpet Care, Floor Care, and Cleaning

Can Robots Do it All?

When we think of robots, we tend to imagine semi-sentient metal creatures capable of fulfilling specific tasks entirely on their own. While modern robots are designed with high levels of automation and machine learning in mind, they’re still machines at the end of the day, and machines can malfunction. So, while we refer to our automated commercial cleaning devices as “robots,” a more accurate term would be “co-bot,” signifying the essential cooperation between man and machine.

Our automated cleaning equipment works alongside cleaning crews to enhance capabilities each and every day. Like any other piece of equipment, these machines require regular oversight and detailed knowledge of both the machinery involved and the scope of work. Ultimately, this symbiotic bond allows our teams to work more efficiently than they possibly could have in the past. And when building maintenance protocols are made more efficient, businesses save precious time and money.

So no, robots can’t do it all – not yet, anyway. As of now, the best recipe for efficient floor cleaning requires a close relationship between cleaning crews and their automated equipment.

Automating Floor Cleaning with the KIRA Robotic Vacuum

Just because today’s robots can’t do everything for us doesn’t mean they’re not capable of incredible feats – the KIRA Robotic Vacuum by Kärcher is proof positive of this. In January of 2022, The Budd Group partnered up with Kärcher to be the first customer in the world to purchase and deploy the KIRA (short for Kärcher Intelligent Robotic Applications) Vacuum. This machine can sweep and vacuum over 25,000 square feet per hour. Unlike traditional commercial floor cleaning machines, however, the KIRA Vacuum has a mind of its own, so to speak.

KIRA comes equipped with a smart detection system, which uses optical sensors to detect and avoid obstacles along its route in real time. Cleaning professionals can program the KIRA machine with preset cleaning routes at specific intervals to ensure that carpets and hard floors receive routine cleaning with minimal oversight. KIRA also uses cloud-based AI to constantly learn as it cleans to reduce inefficiencies over time. Humans can operate the KIRA Vacuum like other ride-on floor cleaning machines, too – in fact, the machine can detect unintended riders when in autonomy mode and will actively adapt and shift to compliment the added weight and balance of any operator. Cleaning crews can also keep track of KIRA’s progress by connecting with it via a smartphone app. This app allows operators to receive real-time reporting and other important updates anywhere, any time.

The advantages offered by the KIRA Robotic Vacuum are emblematic of The Budd Group’s ongoing commitment to automated cleaning technology. Facilities that adopt these state-of-the-art robotic technologies see significant returns on investment in relatively short order, enjoying more efficient and consistent processes.

How The Budd Group Implements Robotic Technology in Facilities

The future is bright for robotics in various cleaning applications. That said, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when deploying automated equipment. Every facility is unique in terms of scheduling, scope, size, and more. As such, when considering the use of robotic technology for a given client, we look closely at their daily service schedule, the size and physical characteristics of their building, and how their facilities are used by occupants day in and day out. Taking all of these factors into consideration allows us to find the optimal automated solutions for our customers. Above all, the most important aspect of successful deployment of robotics is having on-site leadership to properly embrace and oversee this technology. Indeed, while many workers in the service industry fear that automation will immediately render their labor obsolete, there is still very much a need for competent, productive workers – robots are simply creating opportunities for a safer, more efficient work environment.

Robots and Humans Working in Harmony

Some people continue to fear that robots will turn against us or replace us. At The Budd Group, we’ve established a more optimistic view of robotic technology. Our implementation of the KIRA Robotic Vacuum is just one example of how we’re seamlessly integrating automated equipment into existing commercial floor maintenance protocols for our clients. We will continue to invest in the latest and greatest robotic technology while training our staff to work in tandem with it for the best results.

To learn more about our services and values, give us a call today at 800-221-8158!

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