March 14, 2023

BGSU Adopts Autonomous Floor Cleaning Robots

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Bowling Green State University rolled out a new line of autonomous robots to support the custodial staff while cleaning campus.

BGSU has invested in nine of these types of bots. Six are vacuum cleaners and three are floor scrubbers.

It's the only school in Ohio with this ICE Cobotics technology which designed the floor scrubbing machines.

Autonomous machines have taken over BGSU in recent years. The school has adopted robots that can deliver food, cut the grass, paint athletic fields and now clean building floors on their own.

"We strive to innovative," said Eric Heilmeier, director of campus services. We strive to make sure that we are delivering to our students the highest quality experience that they can experience here on campus,”

These brand-new bots are designed to aid the BGSU custodial staff and have cleaned over 1.2 million square feet of floors since their introduction.

"None of this is to replace any staff member. This is to support staff so our staff can focus on kind of the more interactive, detail-oriented type work. We are helping remove some of the mundane repetitive-style work."

Staff members use the robot to scan QR codes on the walls of the buildings that provide the robot a floor plan. Once scanned in, the bot goes off on its own to clean.

"They are not like the Roombas you have at home," Heilmeier said. "We train them and we teach them the route to take and then we can verify that that route was cleaned and at what time it was cleaned. We are actually getting increased cleaning while assisting our staff."

The cleaner has cameras that can detect when things are in its way and will drive around any potential obstacles before resuming where it left off.

They have even caught on with students, who have named their personal cleaners.

The one in the nursing building is named Scrubby after the scrubs the nurses wear, and the bot in the Student Union Building is named Fred after the school’s mascot Freddie Falcon.

The floor scrubbers are only in three buildings for now but could be introduced to more of campus soon.

You can read the original article here.