Tuesday, 18 February 2020
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Robots communicate with lifts

thyssenkrupp Elevator has unveiled a new robot interface platform in the USA that permits delivery service within buildings.

Up to now, it was the end of the road for robots at the latest at the lift car doors. (Photo: © thyssenkrupp Elevator)

According to the thyssenkrupp Elevator press release, the integration of the lift interface, for example in delivery robots, is intended "to considerably improve [inhouse logistics for building owners and building managers], enhance efficient processes and offer tenants more attractive conditions."

Previously, robots could not operate independently in buildings – the limit was at the lift door at the latest, travelling to other floors without human assistance was not an option. This restricted their range of action. The thyssenkrupp interface is now intended to permit communication between robots and lifts so that robots can use the latter like any normal passenger.

Numerous pilot projects are said to have already been successfully completed in large hotels and hospitals in the USA. thyssenkrupp cooperated with leading robot manufacturers for this purpose.

Communication occurs wirelessly

HandwerkAmong other things, the lift interfaces can be programmed to ensure that they are closely coordinated with room service or the cleaning staff. Coordination with the (automated) security or supervision service is possible. Not least, other delivery services are to benefit: the number of robots that deliver medication or packages is constantly increasing, according to the company.

The interface allows robots to move freely, which is also intended to be of benefit to residents, guests and patients in the buildings. The lift is summoned via WLAN or 4G LTE. The robot determines the destination floor and initiates the lift movement. Picture processing technology helps the robot to recognise and determine whether there are already too many people in the lift and if it has to wait.

All of the communication of the lift occurs wirelessly via the TAC controller of thyssenkrupp. The interface, which is only compatible with the soft- and hardware of thyssenkrupp, can be installed in just one day.


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