thyssenkrupp Launches Robotics Interface Platform

Incorporating the elevator interface with delivery robots allows them to move freely throughout hotels, hospitals and other buildings.

thyssenkrupp Elevator North America has launched a robotics interface platform to assist with robot delivery services throughout buildings. By incorporating the elevator interface with delivery robots, building owners and managers can improve in-house logistics, increase productivity, and maximize the tenant experience.

delivery robots
(Photo: thyssenkrupp Elevator North America)

Previously, robots could not operate independently and use elevators, severely limiting their use within a multi-story building. Now, thyssenkrupp’s sophisticated interface allows communication between the robot and the elevator, which enables robots to make floor selections and use elevators like a normal passenger.

“thyssenkrupp Elevator is helping shape the smart cities of the future with our innovative technologies and solutions that make passenger movement safer and more efficient for everyone, including robots,” said Kevin Lavallee, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator North America.

Successful projects have been completed at hotels and hospitals across the U.S., as thyssenkrupp has partnered with leading robot manufacturers on these projects. Robotic elevator interfaces can be implemented to assist with housekeeping, room and luggage service; security patrolling and concierges; as well as aid in safe pharmaceutical and package delivery.

The interface permits robots to select floors, but instead of pushing an elevator button like a human does, the robot can call for an elevator wirelessly via WiFi or 4G LTE. With thyssenkrupp’s advanced technology, the robot wirelessly selects and exits the elevator upon reaching its destination. Using Machine Vision, a robot can determine if an elevator has enough room or if it’s too full to accommodate the robot.

All elevator communication is done wirelessly through thyssenkrupp’s TAC family of controllers. The interface, which is only compatible with thyssenkrupp software and hardware, can be installed in as little as one day.

According to MarketsandMarketsTM, the delivery robot market is expected to grow from $11.9 million in 2018 to $34 million in 2024. Hotels are increasingly testing this technology to offset rising labor costs, increase revenue from room service as well as attract customers to increase occupancy and room rates.

Meanwhile, hospitals are utilizing robots for deliveries to and from pharmacies, laboratories, blood banks, nurse stations, waiting rooms, patient rooms, administrative offices and gift shops. The robot can also lock and secure important cargo such as pharmaceuticals, ensuring it gets to the right patient on time while also improving inventory management.

“Technology-savvy organizations in pursuit of improved operational efficiencies are embracing the virtually unlimited potential of this technology and how they can implement robots and the elevator interface into their day-to-day activities,” continued Lavallee.

delivery robots
(Photo: thyssenkrupp Elevator North America)

This is not thyssenkrupp Elevator’s first foray into the world of robotics. In 2017, thyssenkrupp announced the launch of pilot project in which delivery robots would transport spare parts and other materials from the warehouse to elevator maintenance job sites faster and more efficiently.

In addition to robotics, thyssenkrupp has recently launched two technological advancements poised to revolutionize elevator efficiency – MAX and AGILE. MAX is the elevator industry’s first near real-time, cloud-based predictive maintenance solution that identifies issues before they occur, increasing elevator availability and reducing downtime. There are currently 130,000 units connected to MAX worldwide.

Meanwhile, the AGILE elevator enhancement package uses advanced algorithms to dynamically adjust elevator dispatching to improve people flow by up to 30 percent. The AGILE package also enables property managers to control and manage their building in new ways, including the capability to personalize elevator touchscreens and kiosks with unique messages, colors, images or fonts. AGILE bridges the gap between traditional elevator systems and the elevators of the future by providing a smart environment of unprecedented speed, connectivity and personalization.