Robo 2 trial at the SSE Arena

Robo 2 trial at the SSE Arena

Introduction

ICE are extremely excited to be carrying out a number of trials of our new robotic cleaning machine – The Robo 2.

Our latest trial site was the SSE Arena in Belfast, through our partners CE Facilities Services, who were keen to explore the opportunities that fully automated machines could achieve. The potential savings that a fully automated solution would deliver are clear, however CE Facilities Services were also keen to explore the cultural challenges we may face with such innovative technology.

The trial took place for two weeks in July, and the Robo 2 was programmed to clean the concourse area of the arena.

The SSE Arena Cleaning Environment

When speaking with CE Facilities Services Venue Cleaning Manager, Adrian Owens, it was clear that the SSE Arena is a challenging environment to clean. He said “the environment is constantly changing from one event to the next, which makes it quite a difficult building to clean. At full capacity we have 11,000 people there for a concert, and the next evening there may be a Gala Dinner for 500 people.”

Running the Robo 2

Our engineers initially mapped the cleaning area, and also trained Adrian on how to run the machine using the touch screen control panel.

Robo 2 Performance – Customer Feedback

Adrian was extremely pleased with the performance of the Robo 2, he said “I have found the performance exceptionally good compared to a normal scrubber dryer. It is the best machine I have seen in a long time. I have been using scrubber dryers for the past 20 years, and I wouldn’t dare go as close to the edge as the Robo 2 does. It is a very, very good machine.”

Productivity Results

The Robo 2 cleaned an area of 306 m²/h on average. It used 32 litres of water in each cleaning cycle of 3 hours.

Issues

In the two week trial period, there were only two unexpected stops during the cleaning cycle. The first was due to an issue with the ‘drop sensors’ activating when they shouldn’t. These sensors identify whether the machine is likely to fall over an edge e.g. a staircase, and stops the Robo 2 immediately. The sensors were activating when the machine cleaned over an area where there were painted signs on the floor. The sensors were deactivated to prevent this from re-occurring, and we have alerted the manufacturers about this issue.

Secondly, the scrub deck became detached during a cleaning cycle. This was due to the fact that the latches holding it in place were not tight enough, so the problem was quickly rectified.

Customer Suggestions

Adrian Owens believes that a larger version of the machine would be of benefit to larger sites like Arena’s. He commented that the Robo 2 “is a very good machine in operation, and is great for more confined areas such as supermarkets. We found that it was a little restrictive in the vast concourse area.”

Next steps

We currently have another trial underway, and are actively searching for other trial sites to ensure we test the Robo 2 in a variety of environments.

We would like to thank CE Facilities Services, Adrian Owens and the SSE Arena for taking part in the trial and providing such valuable feedback.