Kärcher, a global cleaning technology provider, has networked its autonomous robot scrubber drier on the Internet of Things (IoT).
The cooperation with Deutsche Telekom enables the German family-owned firm to market its smart cleaning machines globally.
Cleaning specialist Kärcher’s new Kira B 50 scrubber drier can be used in production and storage facilities, supermarkets and shopping centers, or hospitals. The cleaning robot navigates autonomously by means of a number of optical and acoustic sensors. Kärcher uses an IoT tariff in Deutsche Telekom’s LTE network to transmit the machine’s cleaning reports and operating data securely to the cloud for digital fleet management. A robust industry-grade Deutsche Telekom SIM is built into a wireless module during the robot’s production. The wireless solution can be retrofitted into other Kärcher cleaning machines.
Worldwide fleet management from the cloud
Thanks to the devices’ IoT connectivity Kärcher customers—building service providers or facility managers—have a constant overview of their machine fleets, their deployment locations and times, the fill levels of water and their battery status. In the event of malfunctions users can be notified by email or text message. Software updates that might be needed for troubleshooting can be downloaded onto the device over-the-air. “The feedback from our customers was clear and unequivocal: what they wanted was remote access to their machines and to view the status of the machines,” says Alina Seitter, Product Manager Robotics at Kärcher. “They also wanted to receive error reports immediately by smartphone and to download digital cleaning reports. Deutsche Telekom’s IoT connectivity enables us to do all of that.”
Thanks to Deutsche Telekom’s international cellular networks and global roaming agreements Kärcher can market its new autonomous cleaning machine in all 80 countries around the world where Kärcher’s more than 150 subsidiaries are located. Kärcher does not have to look for local network providers.
“Our key account customers often demand extensive device tests in different countries,” Product Manager Seitter says. “Thanks to Deutsche Telekom’s global network coverage we can fulfill this requirement at any time.” And Deutsche Telekom’s flexible tariff model can be adjusted to meet the specific requirements of different Kärcher device families.
Kärcher is responding to a new business model trend: more and more manufacturing companies are equipping their products with digital services to improve the customer experience and optimize product development with the help of usage data. Deutsche Telekom‘s IoT network provides the basis for this.