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How Tennant Integrated a Robotics Solution into an Existing Product

February 20, 2019 7:50 AM by Tennant Company

Posted in Cleaning Solutions Robotic Cleaning Machines Innovation & Technology Industry News & Trends

T7AMR Robotic Cleaning Machine

Our first robotic cleaning machine, the T7AMR, launched in late 2018, and while it’s an ever-changing technology, we’re taking a breath to evaluate the hard work that was put into the design and launch of our autonomous scrubber.

One of many teams that had an impact on the T7AMR launch was our Industrial Design (ID) team, which is responsible for designing the customer-facing components of our machines. The ID team ensures the outside of each machine fits within our visual brand standards and gives the operator a positive user experience.

When the original T7 scrubber was developed in 2003, it wasn’t known that it would someday be used as the base for a robotic machine. When it came time to design the T7AMR, which has more complex components like sensors and Brain OS® technology, the ID team had to redesign the shroud and solution tank to ensure that the machine design matched the cleaning functionality.

There were several considerations to take into account with the T7AMR redesign, such as:

  • eliminating interference with the sensors’ fields of view
  • ensuring ease of serviceability and access to internal components for technicians and customers
  • instilling confidence in users and bystanders that the machine is safe
  • creating a non-intimidating and overall appealing design

In order to accomplish these goals, the ID team conducted voice of customer (VOC) research to ensure we took into account our customers’ desires and needs for the cleaning robot. For example, we heard from customers that the robot should appear friendly, which led to several iterations to ensure the T7AMR was not intimidating.

In addition to using a variety of design software to visualise the changes to the existing T7, the ID team also utilised virtual reality and augmented reality via the HoloLens technology to rapidly implement, and get approval on, changes related to scale, ergonomics and aesthetics. Because of these technologies, we were able to launch the T7AMR in less than one year, which is significantly shorter than a typical product launch.

While we are still new to the robotics market, we are excited about our impact and contribution on the latest in innovative robotic cleaning technology.

Wondering if a T7AMR is right for your facilities? Here are 5 questions to ask when considering robotic cleaning machines.

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