Case Study

The Future of Cleaning: Robotics


The Problem

The commercial cleaning industry is continually being challenged to find more efficient ways to utilize team members – for employees to do more with less.

The Solution

By using robotics, we can achieve cleaning results with the same quality expected from experienced custodial staff, while freeing the staff to focus on higher-priority jobs, drive customer satisfaction, and realize savings that can be passed on to customers.

Cue Bob. Bob uses cutting edge artificial intelligence (AI), mapping algorithms and vision sensors to safely deliver a high-quality, consistent clean with minimal human intervention.


What is this thing?

Bob is an autonomous, floor-scrubbing machine that weighs in at about 1040lbs (568lbs without batteries). He is roughly a meter long, and is capable of cleaning approximately 14,000 square feet of space per hour!

How does it do it?

Bob has a vertically integrated technology stack (including wifi, 4G, and AI learning), as well 3D sensors and cameras allowing him to clean efficiently and safely, avoiding all obstacles, as well as having the ability to adapt to changes in floor layouts.

Return on Investment

During Bob’s short time deployed in our clients facilities, we have seen numerous cost savings that allow our robot’s pay for themselves within 12 to 18 months of purchase.

If you’d like to see how Bob can fit into your business model, please contact our service team!

Bob Projected Lifespan

  • 5 years

Fixed and Variable Costs

  • Bob Machine
  • Service Plan
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Wearable Parts (brushes, buffer pads)

Annualized Value

  • Approximate value of work hours for 1 unit operating 8 hrs daily = $30,000/yr

Additional Potential Cost Savings

  • Reduced maintenance (cost vs manned floor scrubbers)
  • Fewer facility repairs due to human error
  • Liability
  • Potential hard and soft costs associated with employee fatigue and repetitive strain

What about the effect on the workforce?

Robotic floor machines enable people to accomplish tasks at a higher productivity rate, often doing the work that the cleaners don’t want to do. We’re trying to help create a world in which people come home from their jobs and feel energized and inspired to use more of their potential. When they are meaningfully engaged in the jobs they do, they are happier.

Ready to talk robots?

Our customer service team would love to chat about how robotics can benefit your commercial property.

Robot Highlights

  1. Cleans up to 1.2 metres per second, navigating a space within 5cm accuracy
  2. With Bob’s quick-change battery option he can run 8-10 hours a day 7 days a week
  3. Optional Co-Branding of machine available
  4. Can be modified to work in an industrial setting so it slows down at intersections.
  1. Can be fitted with additional sensors that track fast moving objects like forklifts.
  2. Uploads real-time data to a web portal as to how much area the robot has cleaned and how much water is being utilized.
  3. Optimizes cleaning staff by managing monotonous and fatiguing tasks Additional safety features such as E-Stop Button, E-Stop Bumpers and warning lights.
  4. 24/7 performance monitoring by specially trained robotics experts Manual and autonomous operation features.

Quick Stats

  1. Minimum Recommended area = 40,000 Sqft
  2. Minimum turn around width = 3.05 M (120 In)
  3. Squeegee Width = 35.7 In
  1. Battery Life =4.5 Hours
  2. Productivity with no human presence = 14000 Sq Ft/Hr

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Bob Safe?

Bob is equipped with many important features that ensure a safe environment for your employees and guests as well as avoid damage to property, equipment, displays etc. These features include: -Onboard software that interprets sensor information preventing collisions and stopping Bob in case an obstacle in introduce while in motion -3D camera and LIDAR sensors -2 layers of safety features

What are Bob's Safety Features?

  • An array of sophisticated sensors that enable Bob to detect and navigate obstacles and automatically pause operations.
  • A physical Emergency Stop Button on the rear that can be quickly activated by an operator. Bob with stop immediately allowing the operator to investigate and resolve any issues before continuing.
  • The front and side bumpers are equipped with sensors that detect if Bob has made contact with a fixed object such as walls or other stationary objects. An emergency stop is then triggered and operations will pause immediately.
  • If Bob does trigger an emergency stop by coming into contact with fixed object, a manual Electronic Brake switch will need to be released by an operator in order to continue service.

What if Bob detects a safety risk?

Bob's safety system will automatically pause operation if:

  • The front safety bumper is activated.
  • The right or left safety bumper is activated.
  • An obstacle is introduced dangerously close to Bob's safety zones.
  • There is an alert from Bob's internal safety process. This allows operators to investigate the issues and rectify it before giving permission for Bob to resume his duties.

Will people be replaced/lose jobs?

The intention of robotic floor scrubbers is to take care of the time consuming, monotonous duty that is floor care, in order to free up the cleaning personnel so they can focus on the fine details like windows, dusting, sanitation, etc.

How loud is it?

Bob's environmental sound is 72 dBA.

Who charges Bob?

One of the cleaning personnel on duty during scheduled cleaning will require basic training on starting and stopping “Bob” and manually directing him to his charging station.

Can it be rebranded or used for advertising?

Ultra Shine currently wraps all robotic floor scrubbers in its personal branding, however options for other advertisement and branding are available at an additional cost.

Why is an autonomous floor scrubber better than a ride on?

A ride on floor scrubber requires a member of the cleaning staff to operate, direct and find the most efficient route for cleaning a space while an autonomous floor scrubber requires limited personnel and equipment interaction. “Bob” will require an initial manual tour of the space it will be servicing and will then find efficiencies through the use of algorithms and AI technology. After initial set up, the autonomous floor scrubber will only require cleaning initiation and guidance returning to recharge after it has completed its route or has run out of battery.

Where can I see Bob in action?

Ultra Shine currently has Bob deployed at some malls in the Edmonton area (Westmount and Northgate) as well, we have partnered with one of our customers to allow for pre-arranged demonstrations. If you have a space of approximately 50,000 Sq/Ft or more, please contact us to discuss an on site demonstration at your own facility.

What business types fit Bob best?

Bob is best suited to facilities with large warehouses and an abundance of hard surface flooring such as malls and airports.

How is it controlled?

Bob is controlled a number of ways. It can be manually controlled much like a ride on or push floor scrubber, it can be communicated with via APP, and can be run without the control of personnel minus initiation and completion.

How are plans created? Can plans be easily updated with changes in floor layout etc.?

  • Plans and routes are created by manually directing/steering Bob throughout a space. Once an initial plan has been created, Bob will find the most efficient route to clean the space through experience and AI technology.
  • With a number of sensors and camera located throughout the body of Bob, he is able to avoid stationary and moving obstacles as circumstances arise

How does it avoid obstacles?

With a number of sensors and camera located throughout the body of Bob, he is able to avoid stationary and moving obstacles as circumstances arise.

Can Bob clean outdoors?

Bob is designed to service indoor commercial spaces and should not be used for exterior building maintenance or cleaning.

Can Bob clean carpet?

Bob is designed to service hard surface floors such as concrete, terrazzo etc. through the use of brushes, water and detergent. Using Bob in carpeted areas is strongly discouraged as it could cause damage to both flooring and equipment.

What kind of detergent does Bob use?

Bob has been conveniently designed to be used with the same standard floor cleaning detergents used with ride on and push floor scrubbers. The use of foaming detergents is discouraged, non-foaming or low-foaming detergents are recommended.