As businesses begin to reopen, they have a responsibility to keep customers safe.
Essential businesses already in operation are taking the obligation seriously, stepping up sanitary precautions and implementing new safety measures. Some have even brought in robots to help out.
"Shoppers will demand cleanliness, demand hygiene, demand sanitation," said Eugene Izhikevich, co-founder and CEO of Brain Corp .
Brain Corp's autonomous robots are being used in retailers, airports, and hospitals around the country.
The company partners with cleaning device manufacturers, equipping them with Brain Corp's software and artificial intelligence. Machines that once needed a human to drive now operate more like a self-driving car.
"Right now, these are the most-needed robots; robots that clean and disinfect floors, sanitize stores," said Izhikevich.
Brain Corp robots were already in stores like Walmart and Kroger before the pandemic. Now, demand has spiked as businesses adjust to new sanitary norms.
The robots can clean stores with precision, while allowing employees to focus on other critical jobs.
Izhikevich says their BrainOS-powered autonomous floor scrubbers are providing more than 8,000 hours of daily work that otherwise would have to be done by an essential worker.
"We wanted to focus on robots that do a task, something boring, but useful," said Izhikevich. "Robots don't cut corners. They don't have bad days. They don't get viruses."
Other businesses are turning to germ-zapping robots without brushes or mops.
Commonly used in hospital operating rooms, the Xenex robot uses pulsed ultraviolet light to disinfect. Now, some retailers, airports, and restaurants want to deploy the same technology.
They're also considering electrostatic sprayers, which mist disinfectant across wide areas.
Izhikevich says this too could be done by a robot, freeing up workers to do high-value tasks.
"This is absolutely going to be the future," said Izhikevich.
Brain Corps is donating $1.6 million worth of autonomous floor cleaning robots and services to essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program includes the rental, deployment, training, and support of the BrainOS-powered cleaning robots at no charge to businesses. The robots will be provided for a minimum of 90 days, depending on the changing conditions of the health crisis.
Due to the current travel restrictions, participating businesses must be within 350 driving miles from San Diego.
You can apply for the Robot Relief Program here.