Supermarkets, as well as other industrial, commercial, civil and service premises such as Airports, Trade fairs, Hospitals, Sport courts have huge floor surfaces to be cleaned daily and infra-daily. These activities are time demanding in terms of human repetitive activities. They take place at various times, often with a tight schedule depending on the kind of premise and available time slots as well as organisational issues of the tenant of the premise; often the personnel have to be present on standby on the premises to be cleaned. Additionally, cleaning services often have problems related to workers’ health and ergonomics. The economic viability of the companies commonly relies on low wages and low-skills personnel. Therefore the floor washing activities are best suited for robotisation.
Currently, it does not exist a robot that satisfies the requirements of the professional users and cleaning services companies in terms of both cleaning performance and in terms of cost. The robotised floor washing tasks are demanding under many aspects: autonomy of operation, precision of the navigation, safety with regards to humans and goods, interaction with the personnel, easy set-up of path and tasks sequences without complex reprogramming.
FLOBOT addresses these problems integrating existing research results into a professional floor washing robot platform for wide area industrial, civil and commercial premises. The result will be a TRL-8 prototype, tested in a real operating environment. The project derives requirements from professional users and implements case validations in four kinds of premises.
The FLOBOT will be a professional robot scrubber with suction to dry the floor. The system consists of a mobile platform (robot) and of a docking station. It includes software modules for human tracking for safety, floor cleaning intelligence, navigation and mapping, mission programming and connection to the data management ERP of the users.