Kum & Go to roll out cleaning robots

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Kum & Go
Kum & Go is automating manual cleaning tasks in its stores.

Kum & Go will be deploying autonomous floor scrubbers across all of its more than 400 locations.

The Iowa-based, family-owned convenience store chain, which operates across the Midwest and western parts of the country, is partnering with floor cleaning equipment and technology company Ice Cobotics 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.

[Read more: C-store retailer Kum & Go enters new state amid ongoing expansion]

The robots are designed for small spaces and to navigate tight aisles and around moving and stationary objects. By leveraging autonomous Cobi 18 technology, Kum & Go seeks to free up associates from repetitive work and allows them to focus on keeping shelves and coolers fully stocked, providing fresh food offerings, and increasing engagement with in-store customers.

“Kum & Go’s continuous improvement culture drives us to find equipment and process improvements that make it easier for our store associates to execute,” said Marty Roush, VP of operations at Kum & Go. “The choice was easy given the full support model Ice Cobotics provides. We are excited to participate in the development of the Cobi 18 to support stores during times of staffing challenges. 

“Our associates and customers think Cobi is fun, which means it gets used more than any scrubber we have utilized in our stores to date,” said Roush. “We’re glad to have Cobi helping us elevate our associate and customer experience.” 

“Ice Cobotics is proud to work with partners like Kum & Go who exhibit a commitment to innovation and enhancing the guest experience in their impeccably clean stores,” said Chris Wetmore, VP sales at Ice Cobotics. “The partnership and adoption of Cobi is a natural fit due to Cobi’s ability to help increase efficiencies and productivity by freeing up staff in busy convenience stores. We are excited to continue to work with Kum & Go and their amazing people as they implement cleaning automation across their footprint nationally.”

Phillips 66, Walmart automate store cleaning tasks

Fuel/convenience retailer Phillips 66 is also 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.

In addition, 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.