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DHL Keeps Warehouses Clean With Floor-Scrubbing Robots

With health and workplace hygiene concerns heightened over the coronavirus pandemic, companies are turning more to automation and robotics to perform essential services.

DHL has expanded its partnership with Avidbots to install Neo floor-scrubbing robots in warehouses, hubs and terminals worldwide. Together, DHL and Avidbots will bring the most advanced floor-cleaning automation tool to many of the thousands of sites DHL manages in 220 countries and territories. The new partnership builds on an earlier cooperation signed in 2019 between Avidbots and DHL in North America.

“Floor-cleaning robots, while a simple innovation, reduces up to 80 percent of labor hours spent cleaning,” Matthias Heutger, senior vice president and global head of innovation and commercial development at DHL, said. “This frees up our staff to engage in more value-adding, customer-centric work, while driving our Strategy 2025 digitalization agenda forward.”

Neo is used in many commercial locations and is especially suited to dynamic warehouse environments. DHL will deploy Neo floor-scrubbing robots in warehouses it manages worldwide.

Using advanced 3D sensors, cameras and AI, Neo autonomously navigates in warehouses, automatically detecting and avoiding obstacles such as people, boxes, forklifts and other robots. With Neo, warehouse floors are always clean and dust free, ensuring optimal operations and worker health and safety.

“DHL’s strong vote of confidence in the Neo floor-scrubbing robot is a testament to the hard work the entire Avidbots team has put into building the world’s only fully autonomous floor-scrubbing robot,” Faizan Shiekh, CEO and co-founder of Avidbots, said.

Neo is currently used at hundreds of sites on five continents, including warehouses, airports, malls, hospitals, universities, manufacturing sites and train stations. Neo has developed a particularly large customer base in the warehouse space, as it is the only floor-scrubbing robot that can effectively operate in dynamic environments with many continuously moving obstacles.

DHL and Avidbots will work closely together over the next year to identify warehouses worldwide that could benefit from Neo floor-scrubbing robots.

Logistics rival UPS is similarly modernizing warehouse operations by leveraging autonomous capabilities. UPS is deploying Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) in several of its facilities and piloting AMR from Locus Robotics, which receive instruction from the WES to pick up and transport goods for order consolidation and pack out by UPS employees.