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Stop and think for a second about what that means. For decades, even into the 2000s, futuristic movies were set in years like 2020. Because 2020 is the future. Or at least it sounds like it.
Of course, now that we’re here, there’s not a single flying car to be seen and we still don’t have robot butlers running our homes for us. That doesn’t mean that all those filmmakers were wrong, though. When it comes to cleaning technology and facilities management, we are definitely living in the future.
Here are five ways that innovation has taken us into the future.
It’s not the scary, take-over-the-world kind of robots, but robotic cleaning machines that can safely operate within complex, real-world environments can now be found in major retailers across the country.
Cleaning robots are rapidly growing in both popularity and the number of ways they can help the facility they’re being employed in. Autonomous mobile robots (AMR) like the Tennant T7AMR Robotic Floor Scrubber contain advanced, automated technology that allows for sophisticated navigation and movement without the need for an employee to be manually operating them. What does that mean? Essentially, it can allow a team member to be in two places at one time — cleaning the floor with the AMR and performing a high-value task in another area of the facility.
There’s nothing that screams “we’re living in the future” more than robots, and these robots can address labor challenges, drive efficiencies, and maintain a high standard of cleaning as they work alongside employees.
2. Products that do more than one thing well.
When humans started roaming the earth, there were only two products that did more than one job: WD-40® and duct tape. (We’re pretty sure.) Let’s be honest, products that were great at multiple things were a pipe dream in years past. If you could find a product that did one job well, that was enough.
But, speaking of those pipes, there are now multifunctional cleaners that can work as degreasers to remove oil, grease and grime while also being gentle enough to clean floors, glass and other surfaces.
Another example is lithium-ion batteries. When you think about the things that you’d like batteries to do well, it’s likely that list includes a long run time, fast charging, and surviving many charge cycles. Lithium-ion batteries check all of those boxes.
One of the beautiful things about the continuing advancement of cleaning technology is that products have gotten so good that R&D teams can now say, “What else can this do?” And they’re discovering that they can do a whole lot more.
3. Smart everything
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a regular reminder that we’re living in the future. From wearables that can monitor your health to smartphone apps that can get you a discount on your car insurance to making even buildings smart, the IoT truly is surrounding us.
It might surprise you just how smart buildings can be with the help of the IoT. Utilities like energy and water can use smart meters to provide use and flow insights; lights and thermostat systems can learn habits and sense occupancy to operate as efficiently as possible. It helps to have smart devices, but sometimes what’s even more helpful is the data they provide.
Earlier, we mentioned AMR and how these mobile robots can help clean spaces thanks to sensors and advanced internal technology. But what if some of the technology was outside the robot?
It’s anticipated that smart buildings will disrupt the way we approach AMR — instead of continuing to improve and add sensors within the machine, we will instead see sensors placed in the building to help the machine navigate and detect objects.
4. Cleaner cleaning.
The most important thing about cleaning is that it gets stuff clean. And for a time, that was the only thing that mattered. Harsh chemicals are effective, and therefore have long been widely used in various applications to get stuff clean.
Today, cleaning technology across the board takes environmental impact into consideration. For the health of businesses, team members, and surfaces, detergent-free cleaning has grown in popularity.
And, in applications where detergents are still needed to do the job, there are ways to be more environmentally conscious at the same time. TennantTrue® detergents help teams do this in a variety of ways. They are formulated to eliminate the risk of damage to critical machine components like gaskets, seals and vacuum fans, extending the life of cleaning hardware. And they are also packaged to arrive in environmentally safer, recyclable packaging and use biodegradable surfactants to support green cleaning initiatives.
You’ll find green innovations in all kinds of cleaning products you never would’ve guessed could even be green — another sure sign we’re living in the future.
5. The future at home.
There are a whole lot of ways that advancing into the future has made our workplaces cleaner and safer for our teams. But technology is also helping us have cleaner, safer homes.
Take, for instance, the Trifo Lucy, a robotic vacuum cleaner that leans on AI to avoid obstacles as it follows its mapped journey around your home. It has a 1080p video camera on board that enables it to “see” and avoid troublesome objects as small as less than an inch in height.
Another example: the LuluPet smart litter box. We know what you’re thinking, because we thought it, too: How can a litter box be smart? You might be surprised. This advanced tool can analyze a cat’s waste to gain insights on its health and track its restroom habits closely enough to know if there may be reason to think it’s time to visit the vet.
Finally, one of the smallest reasons that we know we’re living in the future: the Alfawise S60 Window Cleaner Robot. You just stick the little bot on the glass and it uses AI to map the window and develop its own, efficient path to clear it.
Combined with the technology of the future, you can find yourself living in a cleaner world today. And you can save some time along the way.