June 25, 2024

How to Maximize ROI with Autonomous Robots

Autonomous Mobile Robot in Warehouse.

Challenges with labor, inflation, and a rapidly evolving workforce have caused many industries to evaluate how to support their business in effective and efficient ways. One of the fastest emerging solutions is to augment labor with autonomous robots.

By augmenting labor, many industries can free up available staff to focus on more critical tasks by offloading repetitive and time-consuming work to robots. 

Autonomous robots can help alleviate many of the issues employers are facing because the robots take on mundane work (often jobs with high turnover), free up staff to focus on things like improved customer service or more critical cleaning tasks that improve a business’s reputation, and robots can be more affordable than paying someone an hourly rate to do repetitive work, like floor cleaning for example. 

Autonomous robots are making waves across industries by automating tasks, improving accuracy, and reducing operation costs.

However, there’s more to achieving these indicators of ROI than simply dropping the robot into daily operations and assuming it will take care of itself. 

To fully reap the benefits of autonomous robots, there are crucial steps every business must take to integrate the machines into daily operations effectively. We’ve outlined the necessary steps below. But first, a quick description of what an autonomous robot is. 

What Is an Autonomous Robot

Autonomous robots are machines capable of performing tasks without human intervention. They use sensors, cameras, and AI algorithms to navigate their environment, make decisions, and execute actions. 

Autonomous robots are designed to take on repetitive, mundane tasks that are time-consuming and strenuous. They relieve human workers of these mundane tasks freeing them to focus on more complex and critical work.

Autonomous robots are deployed across diverse industries such as manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, agriculture, and retail.

Strategies to Maximize ROI with Autonomous Robots

Assess the Facility and Operational Needs

It’s important to begin by conducting a thorough assessment of the facility. This should take into consideration the layout, size, and traffic dynamics to ensure the facility can accommodate autonomous robots. 

Autonomous robots come in a variety of sizes and part of the facility assessment should include determining the right size robot for the facility. You’ll want to match the autonomous robot model to the facility's specific needs, considering factors like task frequency, traffic density, and space constraints.

For example, some autonomous robots are designed to navigate smaller more complex environments like convenience or small grocery stores, while other robots do better in larger facilities with expansive floor plans such as a superstore like Walmart, a warehouse facility, or college campuses.

Another important factor to examine closely is your operational processes. It’s important to determine which tasks are repetitive, labor-intensive, or prone to errors. This assessment will help you prioritize the deployment of robots where they can deliver the highest ROI.

Work with the manufacturer ahead of time to consider how best to integrate the robot into your existing workflows and systems. This will help you ensure ROI. 

Building services staff being trained on how to use Cobi 18, robotic floor scrubber

Providing training and a cohesive message that explains the benefits of learning new skills, is a great way to help employees embrace change. Many manufacturers offer extensive onboarding and training programs that support an organization through the implementation of robotics. 

ICE Cobotics, a cleaning technology and equipment company, has a full library of training videos on its website and offers an Automation Academy. The Automation Academy is designed for all new users of their floor cleaning robot, Cobi 18, and teaches users how to use the cobot. 

The automation academy consists of a series of tutorial videos and a short quiz at the end. Once you pass the test, you’re rewarded with a cobotic certification. The automation academy plus the extensive library of training videos can be used by anyone deploying the robot and cover a wide variety of topics. 

Utilizing training programs like these can significantly impact the success of integrating robots into the organization because staff are better equipped to work alongside the equipment and have access to online support if they need help. 

Evaluate Vendors

Research vendors thoroughly and seek out a supplier that has industry-specific knowledge. Robotics technology can be a dynamic asset, but the vendor also needs to understand specific operational needs for your facility. 

It’s also important to work with a vendor that has a developed support system and is capable of handling service and maintenance needs. 

For example, ICE Cobotics offers Cobi 18, an autonomous floor scrubber, through an all-inclusive subscription. The all-inclusive subscription includes service, parts, consumables, and access to training programs at no additional cost. Their service network extends across the U.S. and large parts of Europe and China. 

ICE Cobotics designed this program to make the implementation of robotics easy and affordable.

The equipment is designed by cleaning industry experts who understand the important qualities necessary to manufacture a cleaning robot. And the program supports the servicing and upkeep of the robot so that the burden is not left solely with the client. 

Working with a vendor that understands your industry and offers a support system for the upkeep and maintenance of the robot will have a direct impact on ROI. 

Focus on Maintenance and Upkeep

Perhaps the most important initiative you can get behind when adopting robotics is maintenance and upkeep. While autonomous robots are designed to make our lives easier, they still need the attention and support of humans, and daily and weekly maintenance is crucial. 

It’s important to work with the manufacturer to fully understand what types of maintenance need to occur regularly and then to integrate those steps into operational processes in your organization. 

For example, cleaning robots have consumable parts that get a lot of wear and tear due to the nature of the jobs they perform. These consumable parts such as squeegees, brushes, hoppers, and water and solution tanks need consistent cleaning, and once they are too worn down to perform the job, they need replacement. 

It’s important to build these steps into daily routines so employees understand the importance and stick with the routine. It’s often a good idea to designate several employees as 'robot champions'—giving them the responsibility of learning the robot and performing the maintenance. 

This can help ensure that routine maintenance is taken care of because the ownership is given to a few designated people who take pride in the responsibility. This not only helps protect your investment, but it also allows staff to become an expert in a new technology. 

By building equipment maintenance processes into daily operations, the performance of the robot is positively impacted and well-maintained robots consistently perform at optimal levels, maximizing ROI.

Leverage Data to Track Performance & KPIs 

Autonomous robots generate vast amounts of data through their sensors and operational activities. Some models come with fleet management software that tracks the data through an app, making the information easily accessible from any location. 

Data-driven insights allow managers and others who oversee operations to monitor the performance of the machine and to detect patterns in performance. Fleet management software tracks things like the time at which the robot is deployed, how long it is in operation, the path the robot takes, and even the operators of the robot. 

By tracking this data, you can set KPIs that help to improve efficiencies and productivity and ensure accountability. This helps to deliver maximum ROI. 

Review Case Studies or Testimonials

Reviewing case studies is a helpful way to evaluate how other organizations, like yours, are leveraging autonomous robots and the ROI they are achieving. 

This can also help when deciding on a vendor as a case study likely highlights the vendor’s key offerings. By reviewing case studies, you can come up with questions you might have for a vendor, see examples of how the autonomous robot works in a facility like yours, and become privy to standard metrics or KPIs used to track performance. 

Case studies will provide you with a peek inside a real-life example and clue you into how you may achieve ROI and track the benefits of autonomous robots once integrated into your organization. 

The Benefits You’ll See When Adopting Autonomous Robots

·      Increased Efficiency and Productivity: Autonomous robots operate tirelessly, performing repetitive tasks with precision and speed. This continuous operation leads to significant gains in productivity. For example, in manufacturing, robots can assemble products faster and more accurately than human workers, reducing production time and increasing output.

·      Cost Reduction: Although the initial investment in autonomous robots can be substantial, the long-term cost savings are considerable. Robots reduce labor costs, minimize errors and waste, and optimize resource utilization. In logistics, robots can automate warehousing operations, such as picking and packing, reducing the need for manual labor and cutting operational expenses.

·      Enhanced Accuracy and Consistency: Human error is inevitable, but autonomous robots consistently perform tasks with high accuracy. This consistency ensures high-quality outputs and reduces the likelihood of defects or errors.

·      Improved Safety: Robots can perform dangerous tasks, reducing the risk of workplace injuries. In hazardous environments, such as mining or chemical plants, autonomous robots can handle toxic substances or operate in unsafe conditions, ensuring human workers remain out of harm’s way.


Autonomous robots offer immense potential to transform businesses by increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and enhancing accuracy. 

However, maximizing ROI requires a strategic approach, from conducting thorough assessments and choosing the right robots to integrating systems and investing in training. 

By leveraging data, focusing on maintenance, and monitoring performance, businesses can harness the full potential of autonomous robots and achieve significant returns on their investment. 

ICE Cobotics is a global leader in cleaning technologies and solutions. We specialize in designing and manufacturing autonomous floor cleaning equipment, available through an affordable all-inclusive subscription.

Ready to take your commercial cleaning to the next level? Reach out to our Automation Experts and we’ll get you started.

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