Four ways that autonomous mobile robots are helping facilities

Warehouses, large retail stores, and airports around the globe are seeing more autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) being utilized to complete simple, everyday tasks, letting humans focus on activities that require their dexterity and decision-making abilities.

  1. AMRs aren’t just saving time. They can save money.

According to Robotics Business Review, the average worker wastes nearly seven weeks per year in unnecessary motion, which adds up to more than $4.3 billion in labor costs in the U.S. alone. With the use of AMRs, companies can save money by allowing employees to focus on business-critical jobs, reduce unnecessary motion and leave mundane tasks like floor cleaning to the robots. This not only eliminates employees juggling multiple jobs at once, but also ensures that the job is getting completed in full without being rushed.

In addition to better allocation of workers’ time, robotic solutions provide labor cost-efficiency benefits. For example, when evaluating a worker in charge of facility maintenance and cleaning, the hourly labor cost averages $22, and the yearly cost for that single employee is $44K+ per year. Combined with the endless labor cycle of recruitment, training, retention challenges, and rising labor costs, along with the need for increased cleaning, many organizations continue to shift from manual cleaning to autonomous solutions. Cleaning robots also provide something that a manual solution can’t, which is the ability to monitor, manage, and measure what was cleaned, when it was cleaned, what wasn’t cleaned and why.

Based on the average cost of an autonomous cleaning solution, most organizations will see a return on their investment within 12 – 18 months depending on how many hours they’re using the robot each day. Moreover, warehouse and facility managers don’t need to account for work breaks in the schedule with a cleaning robot, saving even more time and money!

2. Investing in AMRs can mean a safer work environment.

With a strapped labor market and a demanding economy, employees are stretched thin, stressed, and pressed for time, which increases the chance of errors and accidents on the job. Robots help create a safer work environment by alleviating some of these factors. For example, an employee that is in a rush while manually cleaning a facility may not clean every square inch or may end up driving too quickly leaving water on the floor, further increasing the risk for accidents. This wouldn’t be the case if an AMR was tasked with the cleaning. Dynamic path planning and real-time obstacle avoidance allow robotics to avoid anyone or anything, safely completing the task at hand.

With fewer employees rushing to complete multiple tasks within a retail aisle, airport terminal, or warehouse floor, it allows the opportunity to decrease the number of potential accidents and safety risks. What does this mean for the company? The decreased safety risk leads to more uptime, fewer employee absences, lower risk of accidents, and, ultimately, additional financial savings. All of these factors contribute to higher efficiency and production.

3. Staying up to date with cleaning metrics through AMR data and analytics.

Whether you are reviewing the cleaning report from the night before, completing a health and safety report to deliver to a department official, or updating your manager on how the facility is being cleaned — the answers lie within the data and analytics tools provided by AMRs. For example, through the Avidbots Command Center, Neo operators can manage and monitor a single robot or an entire fleet of robots in real-time from anywhere in the world, 24/7/365. Not only are operators able to identify cleaning plans that were successfully completed, but they can also pinpoint underperforming cleaning plans and make adjustments as needed for a more efficient clean on the very next cleaning run. This allows your team more time to focus on your core business, knowing the AMR is completing the task you’ve asked it to while documenting it along the way.

  1. AMRs result in an increased level of flexibility and versatility for companies.

Facility managers around the world are putting in long hours to ensure that working environments are safe for employees. With many companies turning to AMRs for a more optimized clean, additional time can be spent on other tasks that require human decision-making and dexterity. Whether it’s business growth, a busier time of year, or seasonal changes, cleaning AMRs deliver a new era of flexibility and versatility. With dynamic work facilities constantly fluctuating, it’s imperative that the cleaning AMRs selected to adjust their route on the fly as needed. To deliver even further cleaning plan customization, Avidbots and their Cleaning Plan Generation team offer an unlimited number of cleaning plans as needed for a variety of environments. As a result of custom cleaning plans, Neo delivers the best cleaning possible.

Whether it is because of the positive impact on labor, data analytics and reporting, or versatility and efficiency, adoption of AMRs will continue to rise around the globe in industries of all kinds. The ongoing evolution of robotic technology continues to deliver efficient and effective solutions that drive tangible benefits to materials handling businesses.

About the Author:

Faizan Sheikh is the CEO and Co-Founder of Avidbots. Faizan has helped develop the Avidbots vision and mission, and he plays a key role with investors and business partners. Sheikh graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in Mechatronics Engineering from the University of Waterloo. After working on a robotics startup in his final year at Waterloo, Faizan would go on to found Avidbots in 2014 with Pablo Molina. Together with Pablo and the team, Faizan has built Avidbots into one of Canada’s fastest-growing robotics companies. For more information, visit Avidbots.com.

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