Walmart rolling out driverless floor scrubbers
Walmart is expanding its use of AI technology to free up its store associates from a time-consuming maintenance task.
The discount giant plans to have 360 automated floor cleaners rolling around its stores by the end of January. The machine uses software technology company Brain Corp.’s BrainOS platform whose computer vision and artificial intelligence libraries enable the development of smart systems that can learn and adapt to people and complex scenarios. Walmart is already using the platform to automate more than 100 of its fleet of commercial floor scrubbers.
Brain Corp.’s technology integrates with equipment — the company doesn’t make its own hardware. The platform provides the Walmart machines with autonomous navigation and data collection capabilities, all tied into a cloud-based reporting system. Its navigation stack provides advanced self-driving capabilities for cluttered and busy indoor environments.
Using the platform, Walmart store associates can map a route during an initial training ride on the scrubber and then activate autonomous floor cleaning with the press of a button. The robot uses multiple sensors to scan its surroundings for people and obstacles that may be in its path.
“We’re excited to work with Brain Corp in supporting our retail operations and providing our associates with a safe and reliable technology,” said John Crecelius, Walmart’s VP of central operations. “BrainOS is a powerful tool in helping our associates complete repetitive tasks so they can focus on other tasks within role and spend more time serving customers.”
Another first for Selfridges
U.K. retailer Selfridges continues to push the envelope of department-store retailing.
The company celebrated the launch of a new designer streetwear department in its London flagship by installing the U.K.’s only permanent and free indoor skateboarding bowl. Named “The Bowl,” the structure, made from blonde wood, is located in the menswear department, adjacent to the streetwear lines.
Members of the public can book a one-on-one skate session with a pro. It will also host open skate sessions for experienced skaters.
Earlier this year, Selfridge’s opened what it said was world’s first boxing gym a department store. The pop-up, a collaboration with boutique boxing club BXR London, was open through the month of February.
International green construction code released
ASHRAE announced the release of the 2018 International Green Construction Code, which is a joint initiative of the U.S. Green Building Council, International Code Council, ASHRAE and the Illuminating Engineering Society.
The goals of the updated code are to help governments streamline code development and adoption and improve building industry standardization by integrating two previously separate guidance documents: ANSI/ASHRAE/ICC/USGBC/IES 189.1-2017-Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low Rise Residential Building with ICC’s multi-stakeholder IgCC.
The 2018 code leverages ASHRAE’s technical expertise to offer a comprehensive tool that has a direct effect on how green building strategies are implemented, according to Sheila J. Hayter, 2018-2019 ASHRAE president.
“Improving energy efficiency, building performance and indoor air quality are at the core of ASHRAE’s mission and we are encouraged by the impact of this landmark model towards realizing more a sustainable future for us all,” she said.
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