thyssenkrupp Launches Elevator Interface to Allow Seamless Multi-level Robot Movement Throughout 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 inhouse logistics, increase productivity and maximize the tenant experience.
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 prominent 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.
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.
Press images available below this hyperlink (credit: thyssenkrupp Elevator).
thyssenkrupp Elevator brings together the Group’s global activities in passenger transportation systems. With sales of €7.6 billion in fiscal 2017/2018 and customers in 150 countries, thyssenkrupp Elevator built its position as one of the world’s leading elevator companies from scratch in a mere 40 years’ time applying thyssenkrupp unique engineering capabilities. With more than 50,000 highly skilled employees, the company offers smart and innovative products and services designed to meet customers’ individual requirements. The portfolio includes passenger and freight elevators, escalators and moving walks, passenger boarding bridges, stair and platform lifts as well as tailored service solutions for all products. Over 1,000 locations around the world provide an extensive sales and service network to guarantee closeness to customers.
thyssenkrupp is a technology group with traditional strengths in materials. Over 160,000 employees in 78 countries work with passion and technological know-how to develop high-quality products and intelligent industrial processes and services for sustainable progress. Their skills and commitment are the basis of our success. In fiscal year 2017/2018 thyssenkrupp generated sales of €42.7 billion.
Together with our customers we develop competitive solutions for future challenges in their respective industries. With our engineering expertise we enable our customers to gain an edge in the global market and manufacture innovative products in a cost- and resource-friendly way. Our technologies and innovations are the key to meeting diverse customer and market requirements around the world, growing on the markets of the future, and generating strong and stable earnings, cash flows and value growth.