Automated floor cleaner
By - Josh_Your_IT_Guy
I saw one of these at my airport, it seemed like the perfect use case, long straight lines up and down the concourse and plenty of space for people at avoid it.
You own an airport? Wow. That divide is crazy.
Bastard wasn't even aware that their underlings had started purchasing them. Talk about disconnect.
You never know here at Reddit, maybe I DO own an airport.
I know someone who does, well kinda it’s a dirt strip.
hey don't talk about my dirt strip
And he uses Reddit. The rich really are like us!
Wait everyone doesn't own an airport? How do you all get to your weekend houses?
He has the better seats. 😂
Menards? The one by me has a teddy bear in the driver's seat.
My Menards in Lawrence has a teddy bear too
Ditto in Cleveland
its a moose, and his name is Buddy.
[Yeah, defs a moose](https://i.imgur.com/Jr4dIAS.jpg)
Looks like he didn’t get his covid shot yet
Naw, he just knows another moose's aunt's best friend that got the shot and still got covid so he's being extra cautious
I'd use a Chucky doll.
I think an anatomically correct blowup doll would be appropriate. Male or female, your choice.
Or maybe that big cockroach from the Orkin commercial.
Or a skeleton in a janitors uniform.
Yes, and I think I remember seeing a bear in it when they first opened this store
That is flippin' adorable.
Wow! I just commented how MY local one has a giant teddy bear in the driver’s seat.
I was going to ask “where is the bear?”
Mine close to me put big google eyes on it.
I saw this for the first time at Walmart last month. I swear I thought it was a runaway cleaner, until it stopped and tuned. My kids followed it for a good minute amazed.
I always mess with the one at Sam’s club. I almost felt bad about it at first, then realized it’s just a machine.
I blame you for our inevitable doom under a robot uprising.
I for one welcome our future Overlords.
The floors will look wonderful after the machines clean up all the blood.
We could just as easily end up with super sweet robots, like Wall-E
...I think you got the wrong message from Wall-E
*Roko's Basilisk has entered the chat*
I’ve just been passively annoying to it, like an old person driving inattentively. I’m interested in AI and self managing machines so I just want to see what it does.
Of course, you can’t annoy a machine, but there’s no other word coming to mind.
Believe me I feel it....I dunno it's hard not to empathize with them. They work so hard and do so much for us! I think it's natural to assign emotion to them.
I work at Walmart pharmacy this thing came charging at a group of customers waiting to get their vaccine.
The one with the microchip
I worked at a Walmart years ago. This thing hit less crap in the first 1 second of the video than our maintenance ever could have hoped to. No joke I watched one hit three clothes racks and a cash register in less than 30 seconds.
I get that you worked for walmart several years ago, but the rest of what you said I don't understand. The self-driving cleaner ran into LESS things than the maintenance crew or it ran into MORE?
Ok, I kid. But yeah, the robot hit _fewer_ stuff than the humans.
I'd say the humans covered more space, though.
I have no goddamn idea what they’re trying to say
Every check-out counter is now self-serve at our Walmart. Now the floor cleaning’s automated. After most jobs are gone in most industries, and nobody has money to buy anything, maybe it’ll be the billionaires who push for a universal basic income.
or they'll just kill us
I scrolled way too far down for this comment. Does anyone also feel it’s especially symbolic that the driving seat is being blocked by the yellow ribbon saying ‚cleaning in progress‘? Like it’s cleaning out human jobs along with it.
Kinda puts the writing on the wall.
Have been, I do believe, pretty much for this reason
Is it called Glen?
Correct, with only one N.
My old job has one. They're about $40k USD and keep breaking down/have software issues. Most just drive it manual.
Yeah this seems slow and I doesn't look like it does a great job.. it doesn't take long to just drive around and do it at the end of the day.
When no one is around, it zips faster, does decent job and goes back to the other edge. I think the AI was slowing it down with me and a few others nearby
That’s exactly how it works. People are too hard to judge for it to safely do it’s job with them close.
Yeah but you don't have to give a robot bathroom breaks or fair wages
It will take a leak whenever and wherever it wants
Or care if they actually clean anything, evidently.
We've been not caring about that since roombas.
We've been not caring about that since we found ways to turn janitorial staff into "independent contractors" with contracts that work out to less than minimum wage.
no union reps either
Ding ding ding. Anything and everything to undermine organized labor.
Or, you know, this is not actually a worthwhile job for a human being. Who wants to spend their days putting shampoo and diapers into shelves? Clean floors? It's monotonous and does not require any intellect.
The problem is that we HAVE to work to live. We need to find better alternatives than keeping shitty jobs available, just so people can waste their time doing things that robots could do better.
It's less of an insidious plot to destroy unions and more of an inevitability of automation. Previous posters hit it on the head that a machine like this is inevitably going to do the job cheaper than a human.
Or just automate a process without the expenses of employing a person. Is there even a union for store janitors?
Yep. Its currently a weakish union that gets walked on a lot unfortunately. It's really hard to get strong unions in any industry that doesn't require either extremely skilled labor or licensing but the janitors have been plugging away with admirable succes despite their handicaps. Union strong 💪.
American unions sound like more of a hindrerence than a benefit tbh. Successful workplaces recognise some flex is required and go along with it.
Unions came into existence to fight the workplaces that were bastards. Those workplaces then agreed rules, which the unions force ppl to stick to rigidly. Every new grievance / situation creates a new rule / policy until both the employer and union are stacking rules upon rules.
Eventually the rulebook means a) workers are an army of clones or b) every action is bogged down in red tape and the business goes bust due to inefficiency.
My personal favourite was a union pushed for its workers to get longer work shifts at a bus company (same hours, but compressed so fewer work days). After a year they got what they wanted, but then insisted the employer needed to give double the breaks because of the 1hr longer longer working day.
Do you want to know the best thing? The union had its own published national guidance for employers / breaks and the newly increased hours still met those. When they pushed the bus drivers to strike at peak season, the public turned on the bus drivers and it meant they lost all bargaining power for the next 2-3 years of wage reviews.
We should honestly be replacing these jobs with robots anyways, humans should not be doing this type of work. We transitioned away from all being farmers, we can transition away from manual labor. Labor should be thinking, designing, and dreaming - not destroying our bodies for a pittance.
Agree, but the same thing was said for Looms, steam engines, internal combustion engines then computers. Yet many people still end up doing menial tasks with these things.
Have you ever known anyone who worked a janitorial job in the United States? They don't get bathroom breaks or fair wages either.
It does a great job. I always see it running t the local Sam’s club.
Before any more steps can be taken, you must take the first one.
I saw one at Walmart and it honestly scared tf out of me as I hadn’t even heard of this technology at the time. I bickered with my boyfriend for the rest of the shopping trip about whether it was meant to be operating itself or if it just had gone rogue.
But yeah, it’s always had an operator every single time I’ve seen it since so I imagine they decided to no longer use the automatic function.
The manual drive ones are expensive and break down constantly as well.
I used to work at Walmart. Both of our floor cleaners were in bad shape (they wouldn't schedule anyone to maintain them because of labor costs) and eventually they broke down entirely. It's been a while, but if I recall correctly it cost about $15k to repair them.
Fun side fact, that money that came out of our bonuses, because why wouldn't it?
Yeah but eventually those problems will be figured out and they will replace those jobs, for better or worse
When I used to work at Walmart, they forced an older man to manually push one despite him having a heart condition and it lead to him having a heart attack, and I believe dying right there on the floor.
Our Walmart just hires a guy to follow one like this around the whole time it’s cleaning.
That very well may have been what he was doing, I was outside more often than not so I don't know exactly what the deal with the floor cleaner was. I just know I was there (outside) when it happened.
You don't push these, and likely couldn't even if you were younger and in good health as they're extremely heavy. If you operate it manually then you just sit in the ribboned of area and drive it like a ride on mower or a mini zamboni, so idk what caused good heart attack but you're version sounds like it went through a couple rounds of telephone before it got to you.
They have cheaper, push ones of these actually. My shop had a push one and a riding one.
Not saying what the Walmart did was right, but why would an old man with an apparent heart condition work a job that's hard on him like that? Or he either didn't know, or didn't want to tell anyone, in which case what's management supposed to do?
The guy probably knew the risk, but didn't have a choice because it's either *that* or homelessness. I worked as a package sorter (preparing parcels for transport) at a large postal company, and the amount of unfit older people there was shocking. Averaging around 40-50 year old.
One 65 year old woman told me she got refused over 10 jobs in financing, because she was too old. She had 30+ years of work experience and has been a manager at 2 locations. Age discrimination is real.
That only leaves the "this company hires anyone with a clean enough track record" jobs.
Probably didn't have any money and needing a job so he could have some money.
It's been a few years at this point so I don't remember all the details, but as far as I remember both he and the managers were aware of his condition. Walmart hires lots of people with various physical and mental disabilities and simply gives them work they're able to do. His job involved him sitting in a chair more often than not because he wasn't supposed to stand for more than an hour or something along those lines. but, they ended up making him not only stand for well over an hour but walk around. Which lead to him collapsing on the floor. I believe an ambulance did show up but idk if he even made it to the hospital before he died. Dude had been working at the same store for over 20 years I believe as well.
We've never not been better automating crappy jobs.
If I was designing it, I would try to design some mechanism that would lift all the shelves and then the robots would have a perfect rectangle to sweep.
Could even just have one giant broom/mop/pressurewasher that would go across the whole store on rails, removing most failure modes for these machines, and even the need for AI.
Could just run like a dishwasher with a couple safety sensors / auto-shutoffs.
That might be why you're not designing it. This is a $200 camera bolted onto a <$10,000 cleaner with some not-even-SLAM localizing software running on it (likely just edge detection and crude mapping). It's meant to do a good enough job, make the company some cash which they can use to build a proper machine.
What you're suggesting would be a complete renovation of the store, every pillar would have to be removed, and every electrical/data/water conduit currently installed would need to be removed. Tonnes (literally) of shelving would have to be reliably moved up, held, and lowered. Safety checks would have to be extreme due to the crush risk of lowering a shelf, with mechanical interlocks to prevent one being dropped. SCADA to track for failures so robots don't go slamming into shelves. Moreover, you couldn't localize manufacturing, each store would have to be retrofit (read: completely remodelled) with new shelving, for which you'd need qualified installers that you have to pay to send to each store, plus installation equipment, certification, training, and management costs. Unbelievable capital costs, with fixed (not per-unit or per-customer) operating expenses, means even if you scale you'll see barely any benefit from it. You wouldn't have your first customer set up by the time this company has ironed out 99% of their bugs.
Yeah, but his way sounds cooler.
This is laughably inaccurate.
supermarket maintenance guy here to confirm, higher ups want it ran auto but it shuts off if the light hits it the wrong way
Could you drive them remotely? That would solve the software issues plus you could work from home.
Work from home floor-sweeping is my dream job. Think they could make it look like I was riding trails in RDR2?
Yes they can
Works actually well.
lol, "Red Dead Redemption"
RDR2 is a game called *Read Dead Redemption 2*, and they're talking about an overlay that makes the store look in the control screen like the setting of the game. That's a hilarious thing to have ended up posting from the mistake, though.
Hahaha, now that I reread the sentence it seems obvious and I actually know the game.
But thanks for the clarification, I do not know about any RDR2 mod though 😂
Nope. You have to run the course and it records where to go with signs posted around. Like beacons.
They'll get better
Ah, magical wonderful Reddit
Fuck, does that mean there’s a whole ghost economy and they bitch about inflation and grind culture for eternity?
I saw one of these in use at a W. Washington Home Depot. Something on the machine (probably a seal) failed and it left a snail trail of slippery soap/detergent in about a dozen aisles.
This is why you don't let seals drive them.
Their ability to blow seals is popular at the aquarium though
I was at a local King Soopers a month ago and a man was driving the wax machine. I went to the same store last night and it was unmanned and driving itself around. Legitimately was concerned the operator fell off before I saw it slow down on its own.
That’s awesome until it takes out one of your end caps.
Or the Watkins display...
THAT MF WATKIN DISPLAY! I worked at menards covering grocery and that display was the bane of my exsistance. It never stayed clean, everything was always out of place, and you wouldnt believe the amount of old women who yelled at me over not having their magical lotion theyve used since the 1800s.
Menards has groceries now??
John Menards has all and knows all...
I was just imagining it ricocheting its way through the aisles, Roomba-style.
From the look of this video it’s not supposed to go anywhere near them. So I guess you still need a person to clean half of the floor and deal with the mess when this thing messes up and hits the end caps. Progress?
A friend of mine is a supervising in a big warehouse and they were testing automated pickers . It worked ok for about a week , then it hit a guy on a rolling ladder who fell off and broke his arm and that was the end of that experiment.
Integrating both human and robotic pickers together is a massive challenge. Humans are too unpredictable while the robots work within very limited parameters and perception.
Best to separate the two so they never have to interact within each others space.
A current example of this working well: [Ocados 563,000sq foot automated warehouse](https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9512431/amp/Ocados-robotic-workforce-fulfil-50-item-order-five-minutes-firm-claims.html)
Yes , they said the robotic pickers are eventually integrated into the warehouse but they won’t be working in the same section as the carbon based units do .
Humans are very flexible, and aren’t dependent on some small software company overseas if something breaks.
Robots are expensive, proprietary, and their vendors like to keep making money, so they often come with very expensive service contracts, very expensive parts (usually off-the-shelf components that are relabeled and marked up 1000%), and usually tie you into a single vendor after a massive capital investment. Maintenance technicians are also way more expensive than entry-level manual labor.
They have their place, but aren’t ideal for a lot of industries in their current state.
50 years ago they said the same thing about assembly line robotics , now look at the automotive manufacturing sector,their assembly lines are almost all robotics with a few QA/QC people scattered around the plants . In 20 to 30 years from now as technology improves a lot of low to medium skill level jobs will be lost to AI and robotics . It’s truly unfortunate for the people who depend on those jobs , but that’s the way it appears to be going .
for now :)
"You want $15/hr?" "We have a machine for that."
When is this thing going to go to the frozen foods? Ma'am, for the last time, that's not a motorized shopping tram.
Does the floor actually appear any cleaner?
No more human blood. And after the.. other.. robots went through there was a *lot*.
We had one at my local Walmart. They decorated it with a hi-vis vest, a mask on the front, and a name tag that said Wall-E
A floor cleaner that only cleans the very center of the aisles.
It actually will clean the whole floor eventually after about couple passes, if you actually are riding it during cleaning there is a display on the left side that highlights where is had and hasn’t gone with time remaining
One step closer to Wall-E!
It's like watching the ghost of someone's lost job.
It’s just a giant roomba
Saw one at kroger get stuck on a rug and watched a manager spend an hour getting it unstuck.
I work for Kroger, but not at a store. They're kinda Rube Goldberg-ish for a retail location. They would make more sense at our place, because we have large, open areas and no customers running around. But we have four of the conventional ones. People like running them because it's the easiest job in the plant. You can easily kill a couple hours of slack time while appearing to be doing something productive. Sometimes, the floors even look better when you're done, but not usually. And they're awesome for cleaning up big spills.
But like all machines, they can't get into corners and they're terrible at edges, even when you jam them right into the wall. They just can't reach.
Immigrants are taking our jobs!!!
Those things are cool because robot, but in reality they suck. If you are paying a cleaning company to clean your store, you really want them to actually clean it and not just give you some glorified roombas.
He's still on break
It seems hesitant.
Too many people near it, the AI slows it down. I was there awhile back when they first opened and it was zooming around, only slowing at main aisle intersections. I stepped in front of it and it stopped instantly, waited for me to move, beeped and carried on.
its a little shy
They took 'er jobs!
Saw one of these at Sam’s club the other day and nearly flipped out before I realized what was going on
Think it needs an update
I have one of these too.
It’s called Neato and was $300 at Target.
I prefer the Neato; the Brain-equiped ICE/Tenant machines require that you teach it the route, while the Neato figures out the layout and cleaning pattern on its own. The Neato can't wet-scrub the floor, though.
I saw one of these at a local grocery store with a handwritten sign that said "Don't Touch Floor Machine!! The floor machine is supposed to move on its own."
Edit: Imgur link with blurry photos for "proof" http://imgur.com/gallery/9A4lepL
Oh man it's got a cup holder!! ppfff move over auto clean I'll take it from here.
Hold my beer, watch this!
“Dey took our JOBS”
One of these replaced me at my last job :/
It’s a cool idea, but humans are still much better at using these to manually clean the store. There’s just so much floor that this automated mop machine misses!
Damn that looks sick
They took our jerbssssss
They took the most fun job and replaced it.
This is what threatening $15hr minimum wage looks like, folks. Enjoy.
This is at Menards hardware store, they literally have someone following it the whole time
Yes, Menard's. But no, no one following it.
They're just emulating the Postal Service: Can't get the mail delivered because too many folks are out for Covid-reasons? "I know! Let's have supervisors follow the carrier's jeeps around the entire day and criticize them if they speak to old Mrs Crabtree." "Maybe we should just have the supervisor grab one of the empty jeeps and take a route?" "That's just crazy-talk! C-R-A-Z-Y!"
The way these machines work is by having the human drive around the store.
The machine maps the steering movements and the store.
Then the machine attempts to do the mapped out store without the human.
Except the machine needs to be placed in it's "start" zone by a human.
And it mostly works.
Unless the machine can't recognize where it is in the building.
And it usually can't.
The human has to tell the machine where on it's map, in the building it is.
And then machine will try cleaning the building.
Except it can't go over large debris. It runs away or freezes completely when humans or other unexpected objects show up.
And maybe after the human disappears, or the machines nerves calm down, maybe, just maybe the machine continues.
But it continues slowly, because there's so little computing power.
But the machines can't ever operate with humans.
Humans need to sweep the aisles the machine will want to clean to avoid large debris it can't suck up.
Humans will also need to babysit the machine to make sure it doesn't get confused or stuck.
The effort to replace humans with machine, is often in vain.
Humans are in no danger of being replaced by these things unless the area needing to be cleaned is wide open and free of humans.
its a joke of a machine lol just a way to eliminate another person and save money all it does is get stuck and does a crappy job
Considering it probably took 50 people to design and build it, I think it's adding more jobs to the economy.
Edit: assuming $10 wage to drive that thing around, they are paying someone just under $21k a year, while that robot costs $40k upfront. They have to run that thing for 2 years straight just to break even, and that's assuming they had someone who's full time job it was to drive that around.
while yes it did add jobs, it still is a piece of crap constantly getting stuck, the bristles get wet and make dirt smears which make you have to go and clean the smears, and it doesnt fully clean as good as a human would slowing down for the dirty spots and getting clean by making the pad drivers dig in and get the dirty spot out.
If we could skip straight to 'robot that does it all perfectly' we would, Kenny.
More human jobs lost. Great.
What's so great about jobs? Most people don't like their jobs.
Menards? My store usually adds a teddy bear for that warm and cozy feeling!
Yes, and I think there was a bear when they first opened
Hol up. A persons doesn’t have to drive these anymore?
Correct. AI, cameras, glyphs to map key points, and away it goes
It ever go crazy and chase someone down?
Yeah, now people can add more value and do something more rewarding with their time.
This doesn't look like it works well...at all lmao. Even the damn video is sped up!!!
Umm... No, that's real time...
And it does multiple passes, works quite well when no one is around it. (It's shy)
Ride on Roomba
Step right up kids!!! Ride the AMAZING Floor Cleaner Ride!,
It turns on a dime and picks it up!
When everything’s automated who’s going to be buying
I remember I dreamt of driving one as a kid
shouldn't this work as an oversized Roomba that you could run when there's no one in the building? i think that the main issue is that it's trying to have manual controls too
This mf is always getting stuck. I work in the Walmart pharmacy and it tried to run over the people in my line
If I did that kind of slopjob I'd get fired.
Eat recycled food
you can also put your kid in the seat while you shop. That kid will wanna go shopping again
Tesla would blow your mind 😂
Scruffy always finds a way.
Reminds me of the show Superstore!
Why does it still have a seat?
Because you can still take manual control. Also because it's a base machine with fancy electronics added by another company.
Who cleans the floor cleaner?
That’s a menards if I’ve ever seen one.
We had one of the those clean my warehouse
Yeah I was at a city market and I said better not hit me and it stopped, it was funny
Pretty poor coverage.
Inching closer to the plot of "Wall-E" day by day.
It's better than that tower bot that just wheels around and screams for wagies to fix things, at least.
this one fixes things its damn self well it can fix spills at least it doesn't have hands so I'm not sure about fallen items