ZAANDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – Ahold Delhaize is looking for companies that can build an autonomous store cleaning solution. Starting on May 19 the company’s AI for Retail (AIR) Lab began looking for a partner to develop the new technology.

Supermarket floors are typically cleaned once a day before a store opens, which can take an associate an average of two hours to sweep, mop and scrub the floors. Because the task is so time consuming and labor intensive, Ahold Delhaize has decided to build automated technology that can get the job done instead.

The company is considering early-stage startups to scale-ups and SMEs that can develop a machine with the following technical requirements:

  • Autonomous robotic solution (single or fleet)
  • Fast cleaning (at least below 2 hours per 3000m2 store)
  • Machine needs to clean tightly next to shelve racks and dynamic store elements
  • AI empowered capabilities such as: store mapping and robust navigation in dynamic store environment are a must have
  • The solution should result in a cost reduction
  • Inherently safe in operation with people
  • Easy to operate
  • Cyber Secure protocols need to be in place
  • Excellent mobility on both ceramic and PVC floors
  • Low intensity maintenance

Ahold Delhaize is asking companies to apply to work with the AIR Lab to development the new cleaning solution. Applications are due by July 7 and finalists will be selected by July 21. In the case of a successful pilot, the company will cover all development costs.