Imagine briefly, if you would, that you’re in a hotel. It’s late. You’re hankering for some grub, but room service currently isn’t available. So, you order Taco Bell from a nearby location. A short while later, a delivery driver calls from the hotel lobby, informing you that your order’s ready to be received. You throw on little more than pajamas, leave your room, wait for the elevator, then ride it down to the lobby before retreating back to your lair to lay waste to a platter of Doritos Locos Tacos with extra sour cream.
This is what some might call a fairly normal experience. (And totally not one drawn from a night I spent in a hotel earlier this year…)
Now imagine an Internet of Things (IoT)-driven simplification to this story. Everything’s the same until the delivery driver arrives at the hotel with your taco order. But instead of calling you and waiting for your pajama-clad self to meet them in the lobby, tonight the driver either places the order directly in a smart robot, or hands it to a human staff member so they can place it themselves. The driver leaves, and the robot proceeds to navigate into the elevator and up to your floor to complete the delivery.
If technology (as folks say) can be both a blessing and a curse, I’d say elevator-operating robots delivering Taco Bell errs on the side of spicy blessings.
And perhaps not as loco (or even too futuristic) as one might think.
Enter Silicon Valley-based indoor service robots innovator Bear Robotics (Bear) and Korea-based company M2MTech, the latter of which focuses on IoT convergence for remote and predictive smart systems related to parking towers and similar structures, indoor escalators, and elevators.
You may see where this is going.
This month, Bear announced a strategic investment to fund its M2MTech partner in order to extend its Servi robot line with its new and fully integrated elevator delivery robot, Servi Lift.
A core part of what makes Servi Lift successful is actually part of M2MTech’s company name: M2M (or machine-to-machine) communication refers to the direct exchange of data between devices or systems, and without human intervention. And, given one of the cruxes of IoT is interconnectivity and strides made in communications, it is M2M that allows connected devices to successfully communicate with one another as they complete tasks and gather data. This, in addition to prime customer service, can lead to enhanced operational efficiencies for organizations, as well as increases in productivity and in dynamic decision-making.
M2MTech’s development of its ELSA convergence platform is what affords Servi Lift its universal compatibility with major elevator manufacturers, such as OTIS, TKE, KONE, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, and Schindler. In addition to this M2M-enabled interoperability, Servi Lift robots have a self-contained design and upgraded suspension, sturdily built shelving for item placement, an intuitive touch-screen interface, and nimble built-in navigation via LiDAR and multiple cameras for its door entry-and-exit-safe and self-driving capabilities.
The long story short? Last-mile deliveries in hotels, senior living communities, ghost kitchens, hospitals, corporate campuses, and other varieties of high-rise commercial and residential properties are being made possible with Servi Lift.
John Ha, co-founder and CEO of Bear Robotics (a company with the slogan “Leave the running to the robots.”) has emphasized the importance of its investment in M2MTech, stating that “the ELSA convergence platform [from M2MTech] offers strong security, interoperability, and connectivity advantages that will set the stage for us to scale our last-mile mobility solutions."
Juan Higueros, co-founder and COO of Bear Robotics, also highlighted the forecasted growth of the IoT elevator market, which is expected to reach $64 billion by the end of 2030. Investing in their partnership with M2MTech, Higueros said, “will hugely advance our last-mile aspirations and place Bear Robotics in a position to be a world-leading provider of multi-story robot delivery solutions.”
As of this article’s publication, 100 trials of Servi Lift have been reserved for 2023. Bear expects global rollouts in 2024.
Edited by Greg Tavarez