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Phillips 66 deploys autonomous cleaning robots

Ice Cobotics
Phillips 66 is automating floor scrubbing in stores with autonomous Ice Cobotics cleaning robots (Source: Ice Cobotics).

A fuel/convenience retailer is offering self-directed robotic floor scrubbers to its network of more than 7,000 stores.

Phillips 66 is partnering with floor cleaning equipment and technology company Ice Cobotics to enable branded Phillips 66, Conoco, 76, and Phillips 66 Aviation locations to utilize Ice Cobotics Cobi 18 autonomous floor scrubbers. Cobi 18 robots are designed to clean 5,000 to 7,000 square feet of floorspace per hour and can be deployed multiple times per day to clean floors.

By leveraging autonomous robotic scrubbing technology, Phillips 66 hopes to shift the responsibility for repetitive work away from staff, allowing its store associates to focus their attention in other customer-facing areas. These tasks include stocking coolers and shelves, keeping fresh food and drink areas clean, and providing better customer service, all with the ultimate goal of increasing productivity.

“We are excited to step into the future with Ice Cobotics by enabling our customers to lower operating costs and provide consumers with a cleaner experience with Cobi 18,” said Phillips 66 manager of branded sales Lou Burke. 

“We are proud to work with a company like Phillips 66 that has a vision to bring impactful, affordable, and easy to implement technologies, such as Cobi 18, to their fuel customers. By deploying Cobi 18, fuel retailers and FBOs can focus their resources on what is most important to grow their businesses,” said Ice Cobotics director of strategic accounts U.S. Kris Dihrkop.

Walmart, Sam’s Club keep it clean with robots
Walmart Inc. and its Sam’s Club discount warehouse club subsidiary Sam’s Club are also both major users of robotic floor scrubbing technology. Walmart has been using BrainOS-powered automated scrubbers in at least 1,800 stores across the U.S. since 2019.

Walmart’s automated scrubbers are equipped with Brain Corp.’s self-driving operating system, BrainOS. The BrainOS system has the capabilities to navigate autonomously, avoid obstacles, adapt to changing environments, manage data, generate reports, and seamlessly interact with end-users and other robots.

In addition, Sam's Club has completed a national, chainwide rollout of inventory scan towers that have been added to its existing fleet of Brain Corp. robotic scrubbers. The retailer began adding inventory scan functionality to its fleet of autonomous floor scrubbers in January 2022

The inventory scan towers run on Brain Corp's BrainOS AI operating system. Once installed on the scrubber, the cloud-connected inventory scan tower captures data as it moves autonomously around the club. The tower can capture and report real-time data such as product localization, planogram compliance, product stock levels, and verification of pricing accuracy, eliminating the need for manual processes and improving accuracy and efficiency.

Headquartered in Houston, Phillips 66 has 14,200 employees and uses a network of branded marketers and dealers operating approximately 7,000 outlets. The company’s U.S. marketing business supplies detergent gasolines under the Phillips 66, 76, and Conoco brands.

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