Deutsche Telekom adds IoT to Kärcher robot drier

  • September 5, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Cleaning technology firm Kärcher has networked its autonomous robot scrubber drier on the IoT in cooperation with Deutsche Telekom, enabling the German family-owned company to market its smart cleaning machines globally.

Kärcher’s Kira B 50 scrubber drier can be used in production and storage facilities, supermarkets, shopping centres, and hospitals. The cleaning robot navigates autonomously using 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. An industry-grade Deutsche Telekom SIM is built into a wireless module during the robot’s production. This can be retrofitted into other Kärcher cleaning machines.

Thanks to the devices’ IoT connectivity, building service providers or facility managers can 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,” said Alina Seitter, product manager for 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 autonomous cleaning machine in 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,” Seitter said. “Thanks to Deutsche Telekom’s global network coverage, we can fulfil this requirement at any time.”

Deutsche Telekom’s flexible tariff model can be adjusted to meet the requirements of different Kärcher device families.

Kärcher (www.kaercher.com) is responding to a new business model trend: more manufacturing companies are equipping their products with digital services to improve the customer experience and optimise product development with the help of usage data. Deutsche Telekom’s IoT network (iot.telekom.com) provides the basis for this.