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Tips for Labeling Your Robot’s Routes

August 10, 2022
Joel Bernarte Profile Photo
Joel Bernarte
Principal Product Designer

When it comes to robots, following a few simple best practices goes a long way in ensuring the long-term success of your automation strategy. Something as simple as clearly labeling your robotic cleaning routes can help generate measurable results.

What Are Route Labels?

A Route Label is a 15-character name or description that can be given to each of your BrainOS®-powered robotic cleaning routes to distinguish one route from another. The purpose of Route Labels is to specify the location of each cleaning route — helping operators quickly and easily assign their robots to clean a desired section of their facility.

How To Create Route Labels

After teaching a robot a route, the route will begin saving. Once the route is saved, operators can create a Route Label directly from the robot’s UI touch screen. They can either choose from a list of default labels or create a custom Route Label using the keyboard to describe the route with a mix of letters and numbers.

Pro tip: Using the keyboard to create a custom Route Label, as opposed to choosing one from our default list, allows for added specificity. For example, retail and warehouse environments commonly have labeled isles. By using the keyboard, an operator can add the Route Label “Aisles 1-5,” which is more specific than a default “Grocery” label. Custom Route Labels also allow for flexibility. Operators can edit their labels at any time to reflect any changes in their facilities’ environments. Labels can even reflect seasonal adjustments or regional variances in terminology that default label names don’t cover.

If a route was saved without a label, or the label needs to be updated, an operator can add or edit a route label through the robot’s UI by selecting ‘Settings’ > ‘Routes’ > the Home Marker the route is associated with > the route itself > ‘Edit.’

The Value of Route Labels

Route Labels serve as the communication of clean — giving teams a shared understanding of where in a facility the robot is set to clean. Route Labels deliver value to two levels of your team: robot operators and facility managers.

How Robot Operators Benefit:

The use of accurate Route Labels not only helps operators organize and manage the routes they’ve trained, but also goes a step further in helping them understand routes that were trained by someone else. Accurate Route Labels help ensure that a robot can be run smoothly by all operators at a given site. Whether the primary operator, secondary operator or a fill-in for a single shift — Route Labels remove the guesswork of determining which routes clean what parts of a facility. A label titled “Aisles 1-9” or “Produce” is easily understood, making Route Labels an easy way for operators to communicate without actually interacting.

How Managers Benefit:

All Route Labels saved on the robot’s UI will also appear in digital fleet management reports when said routes are run autonomously. With route labels in combination with a heatmap, managers can easily track which routes have been run over the course of a given week and identify areas staff should target next to ensure consistent cleaning coverage across their facilities. This can help managers increase their robotic cleaning output and ROI.

Three Best Practices for Creating Route Labels

With a clear understanding of Route Labels and how they help with continued machine utilization and optimizing cleaning performance, let’s dive into our three simple, yet effective, best practices for creating labels:

    1. Create the label at the time of training the route while the specifics of where it cleans is fresh and top of mind.
    2. Use existing terminology such as departments, section names, building names or aisle numbers that are recognizable to any new or existing robot operator and facility manager.
    3. Use shorthand abbreviations as needed and as long as they are clearly understood by the team.

Pro tip: Operators can add even more specificity and direction to their route labels by including the number of times per week the robot should run a particular cleaning route. For example, if a route should be run once a day, seven days a week, an operator can label the route “7x Aisles 1-5.” Operators have also seen success when including seasonal components in their Route Labels that indicate the routes organizations plan to run during the holiday season, for example. This approach can help ensure a robot cleans areas in a facility with high foot traffic more frequently and thoroughly.

Route Label Examples by Industry:

    • Retail grocery stores: “Produce & Bakery,” “Aisles 1-5”
    • Hotels, office buildings, convention centers: “South Hallway,” “Conference Room A,” “Rooms 201-220”
    • Shopping malls: use big box stores like “Macys,” “Dillards,” “AMC,” “Food Court”
    • Airports: “Concourse A,” “Ticketing,” “Baggage Claim 1-10,” “Baggage Claim 11-20”

Based on the 20,000+ robots we’ve deployed across industries and the globe, our top operators share a commonality — they follow an easy-to-understand Route Label strategy. By replacing misleading, confusing labels with clear descriptions, alternate operators and management can more easily identify which cleaning routes cover what parts of their facilities — helping managers drive greater operational efficiencies.

Looking for more tips to successfully operate your BrainOS®-powered robots? Check out the robotics training material in our Learning Center.

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