Complete Guide to Setting Up Fieldbots: Everything You Need to Know

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Fieldbots. Whether you’re familiar with our products or new to them, this article aims to provide a clear understanding of the setup process. If you have any questions by the end, feel free to reach out via email or through the various forms on this page.

Introduction to Fieldbots

Fieldbots is a family-owned business with over 14 years of experience in developing software for the Facility Management industry. Noticing the rise of cleaning robots, we identified a major gap: the software. While the hardware was often excellent, the software was lacking. Some of the most common concerns and problems that users reported were:

That is when we realized we had the perfect tools to do something about it, and create the product that the market was demanding. Introducing Fieldbots OS & Connect. Our software is currently running bots across 35 different countries. 

What is Fieldbots Connect?

Fieldbots Connect is our manufacturer-independent platform for managing your cleaning bots. You can use almost any robot with our cloud-based solution from anywhere in the world. Here are the key features:

Some advantages that come with having this unified solution include cost reduction, increased employee satisfaction, solving labor shortages, increasing digitalization and automation, and improved service to the end user.

Before moving along, we should also discuss connectivity because it can play a pivotal role in a well oiled robotic cleaning fleet.

Why Connectivity Matters

The problem is that WiFi signal isn’t distributed equally. You can see in the heatmap below that the signal is strongest in the green areas, and non-existent in the dark gray areas. This means that if your bot wanders into these WiFi dead-zones it might disconnect, and it may need somebody to manually reconnect it.

The image shows how the wifi signal is distrtibuted throughout a buildings floorplan with a heatmap. Green means strong wifi, red means weak, and gray means inexistant.

WiFi strength is just one of the different aspects you need to consider. Another very important factor is your WiFi Router’s operating band. It’s essentially the wavelength used to connect to devices. There are mostly two different bands, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. Before purchasing a bot, you should find out if your WiFi and the bots you’re interested in, share the same network. 

If this sounds like it might be a problem, don’t worry, we developed a plug & play solution to simplify this. Introducing Fieldbots Connect Plus. 

Fieldbots Connect Plus: Enhancing Connectivity

Fieldbots Connect Plus is an innovative solution designed to eliminate connectivity issues commonly faced by cleaning robots. At its core, Fieldbots Connect Plus is a SIM card, similar to the one you use in your phone, but tailored specifically for our cleaning bots. When you plug this SIM card into your cleaning robot, it automatically connects to the strongest available cellular network. This intelligent connectivity feature ensures that your bots remain online and functional, regardless of where they are operating.

What are Microbots?

If you’ve spent any time on our website or social media, you must’ve seen us use the word “Microbot”. Microbots are essentially cleaning robots that cost under $10K. They’re what we think are the perfect solution for most businesses. There are other cleaning robots that cost upwards of $100K, but those are limited to very specific use cases. We recommend microbots as both the perfect first-step into having an automated cleaning fleet and as a fantastic way to grow an existing fleet.

Who is Fieldbots designed for?

Our goal with Fieldbots is to make operating a fleet of cleaning bots easier and more accessible to everyone. While our solution can be used for anything between 1 and 10.000 microbots, it’s strengths play more of a role for any company that has a fleet of 5 or more. Our platform eliminates the friction that comes with managing large fleets of cleaning bots. These are some of the spaces where microbots have been deployed with our software:

Fieldbots becomes specially interesting to any type of company that either is currently, or has the intention to operate multiple microbots across multiple spaces or locations. Facility Management companies have seen just how practical Fieldbots Connect really is, and how easy it is to manage their whole fleet from a single dashboard.

Dashboard showing the different microbots available throughout multiple spaces and locations.

How to assess your needs?

Even though there are many factors that influence this, we tried to come up with a rule of thumb. Keep these 3 things in mind when assessing your needs:

1. Are there multiple stories or heights in your space?

2. What do you want the bot to do, is it just vacuuming, or also mopping

3. How big is the area you want to cover?

We will assume that we’re looking for a vacuuming bot, because they’re currently the best working ones on the market. Here are two of our favorite options:

Cleanfix Navi S170 2.0
Cleanfix Navi S170 2.0

From the Swiss manufacturer Cleanfix with over 48 years of experience in the robotics cleaning industry. The Navi delivers fantastic results at a fraction of the cost of some of its bigger-sized competitors. Cover up to 370 sqm (3980 sqft) in a single run. The 2.0 version also comes with a SIM card slot, meaning you could plug in a Fieldbots Connect Plus card, and have it connected to the data network in minutes.

Zaco X1000
Zaco X1000

This German manufacturer has developed a bigger alternative than the Navi, with a few features that make it more interesting to companies that have bigger surfaces to clean. The X1000 can vacuum up to 1000 sqm (10763 sq ft) per run, and because of its higher stature, it is more visible, which reduces the risk of tripping over it. It also has a touch screen on the top of it making it very easy to use.

These are just a few of the different models that can be used. If you want to try a pilot in one of your spaces, or simply grow your existing fleet, you can fill out the form below, and we’ll get in touch with you. 

Alternatively you can also reach out to them directly, using the information below.

Do you need more info?

Click below to get a free quote or to request a demo!

Andrew Bruckner
Andrew Bruckner

Australia, Canada, UK, New Zealand

Lukas Thaler
Lukas Thaler

EMEA

Eldric Chew
Eldric Chew

Global and SEA

How to get started?

The first thing you’re going to need to do is create an account. It’s incredibly simple and straightforward. Click on the following link and it will take you to the login page. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to create one. 

Once you have created your profile, you’ll be prompted with the different subscription options. There is a free tier that has limited functionality, but if you want the full version we recommend upgrading to our Yearly Cloud License, or Yearly OS and Connect Plus (Platform + SIM card) version.

Now that you have all that set up, you can proceed to connecting your microbots. There isn’t a one-size fits all solution here, as most bots are slightly different. In most cases you will need to use the app on your smartphone to pair them. It’s as easy as selecting the specific bot you want to pair in the app, and then following the step by step guide that the app will provide you with. It took me around 3 minutes to set up, and it requires no special technical abilities.

How do you navigate the platform?

Here you’re going to find the broad overview of Fieldbots Connect. If you want to see the full demo by our founder Alexander of V4 of our software you can watch it here: https://fieldbots.io/fieldbots-os/

If on the other hand you want to have more of an interactive demo, where you can ask all of the different questions that might pop into your head, you can request one in the form below. One of our colleagues will arrange a call to walk you through the application, answering any questions you may have.

Once you have everything set up correctly you will be presented with a dashboard similar to the one in the picture below. This is my personal dashboard and in this case there’s only one microbot connected to it. In this particular case it’s the Robot Sweeper 8. Initially all of these dashboards will remain unpopulated, but don’t worry, they will fill up with all of the data with time. 

On the left you can see places. Here you can create different locations, for example a facility management company that’s providing services in different locations could set up each location here. You can also set up different “places” within a team, for example different floors in a hotel. 

In the blue box you have “maintenance”. Here you can see any maintenance that your bots require.  You also have the “schedule” box, where you can set the time frames where you want your fleet to operate. You can also switch them on and off easily if you don’t wish to disturb the people in that particular space. 

Under the tab “robots”, at the top of the screen, you have the “fleet” section, click on that. Here you can see all of the bots you have across your multiple locations. You can see their status, battery level and last run’s details.

If you click on the particular bot you will also be able to see where they are, the area that they’ve cleaned, a detailed status view and a comment section for that particular bot. This makes maintenance a lot easier for these bots, because you can leave notes about the last check up, any maintenance that was done on them or anything you want.

Once the robot initiates it’s first run, it will automatically start generating a map of the “cleanable” area. It will then over a few different runs label each of the rooms automatically. In the map section you’ll also be able to see different red areas. These are no-go zones. You can designate them for reasons like, things that might get the bots stuck, areas with cables, plants, furniture … you name it. 

If you see that one microbot in particular is having trouble, or needs a replacement part, you can recall it to the base from that page too. You do this by clicking on the three dots on the top right, and clicking “return to base”. 

There’s also an option of automatically creating a report from the bots’ performance of any timeframe you like. This feature is specially useful for facility management companies that need to report to their clients on their cleaning. 

Another question you might be asking yourself, is what about all of the dust the microbot is going to pick up? Where does it go? In most cases professional use bots are going to come with a base. This base serves two purposes. The first being as a charging station for the microbot, and the second is vacuuming out all of the dust that the mobile unit has picked up in its last run. The base stores the dust in some small bags that can be replaced manually. And before you ask, yes, our platform will inform you whenever you have to empty it out.

There you have an extensive breakdown of the whole process, from buying a bot, to getting it set up in Fieldbots, and operating it.

If you’ve found this whole article insightful and would like to see it in action, click on the button below to grab a free demo! We look forward to hearing from you. 

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