SEOUL -- Hyundai Elevator, the largest elevator and escalator producer in South Korea, joined hands with Woowa Brother, the operator of South Korea's top food delivery service app "Baedal Minjok" to commercialize a system linking elevators and robots and jointly develop services. Woowa has tried to develop robots capable of traveling smoothly between floors.
Under a memorandum of understanding announced on Tuesday, the two companies agreed to carry out pilot services at one lodging facility and one business facility by the end of this year.
"If the existing autonomous driving service was mainly carried out in a flat space, connectivity elevator technology enables services everywhere in the building through floor-to-floor movement," Hyundai Elevator CEO Song Seung-Bong said, vowing to develop robot-only elevators.
In November 2019, Hyundai Elevator partnered with KT, a top telecom company in South Korea, to develop connected elevators using information and communication technology to enhance passenger conveniences such as connectivity with smart devices, service robots, artificial intelligence calls and voice command systems.
Woowa has developed robots for restaurants and self-driving food delivery vehicles. The final goal is to produce robots capable of roaming freely through the crowded urban streets to deliver food from restaurants to customers. In December 2018, Woowa partnered with Hyundai Movex, an automated logistics system provider, to develop delivery robots capable of moving between floors.
While service robots have skillfully carried out their given tasks, the development of delivery robots was slow because they are not useful in real life in a country where many city dwellers live in high-rise apartment buildings. The salient challenge is elevators. So Woowa and Hyundai Movex aim to commercialize robots that can travel smoothly between floors.
In February this year, Woowa forged a partnership with LG Electronics to develop a total smart solution for restaurants using robots for food delivery and guidance. LG's AI and indoor self-driving technology would be combined with Woowa's know-how. LG has developed various service robots such as CLOi, an AI-based service robot which provides navigational services and controls connected appliances. LG's foodservice robot has been put into operation at a restaurant in Seoul.
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