Like many forms of technologies, the first iterations of autonomous floor machines weren't fantastic buys. The machines were very expensive and there were a lot of flaws — a combination that's not going to sell very well with facility cleaning managers. This lead to a strong level of trepidation from departments that couldn't justify spending so much on a product that had so much to improve upon. Today, things seem to have advanced.

Brain Corp launched BrainOS at the end of 2016 and spent 2017 working out the kinks. The software continues to progress, because as Duffy explains, the more environments the operating system is exposed to, the more educated the software is going to become. Like the human brain, this operating system is improving based on past experiences.

"The larger the fleet is, the smarter the fleet is," says Duffy.

For example, navigation capabilities are being improved monthly. Customers benefit from this because they can upload the data and software updates anytime they want. This means the autonomous floor scrubber should seemingly improve across the duration of the ownership.

With software improving all the time, the purchase of autonomous equipment is becoming more appealing to facility cleaning managers. And it's not just large corporations that should consider making a purchase. While Walmart is one of Brain Corp's largest clients, the company has implemented autonomous technology into floor scrubbers that service malls, smaller retail stores and commercial facilities across the U.S.

Duffy says the technology is applicable to any type of facility, provided the machine is used enough to warrant the purchase. An autonomous operating system is a fit for a machine that cleans a facility for hours at a time or one that cleans in shorter stints, many times. It isn't practical if it's being implemented into a machine that's used for spot treatments.

Once the BrainOS is ordered and in the hands of the workers, they tend to pick up on how to use the technology quickly. As soon as he or she has an understanding of how to operate the robotic equipment, the operator will then put the machine in "manual mode" and clean the route or routes it is expected to take during a shift. Once the machine learns the route, it's able to operate on its own.

"Adoption of robotics is very easy when you use it to enable people," says Duffy.

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Workers Respond To Robotic Floor Equipment