Hyundai tests robots for last-mile delivery in hotel

Hyundai tests robots for last-mile delivery in hotel

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Hyundai Motor Group has started two pilot delivery service programs using autonomous robots based on its Plug & Drive (PnD) modular platform.

The programs take place in the Rolling Hills Hotel and a residential-commercial complex, both located in the outskirts of Seoul.

The delivery robot consists of a storage unit integrated on top of a PnD driving unit. Alongside the loading box used to deliver items, a connected screen displays information for customers. The pilot service at Rolling Hills Hotel uses the robot to deliver amenities and food and drinks directly to customers’ rooms. Deep-learning technology enables the robot to recognize customers; autonomous driving technology and connectivity with elevators enables movement between floors without human assistance.

First shown at CES 2022, the Group’s PnD modular platform is an all-in-one unit that combines intelligent steering, braking, in-wheel electric drive and suspension hardware, including a steering actuator for 360-degree, holonomic rotation. It moves autonomously with the aid of lidar and camera sensors. An integrated storage unit allows the robot to transport products to customers.

Next step: Autonomous outdoor delivery 

By adding the autonomous driving capability, the PnD-based robot can find the optimal route within the area to deliver packages to recipients. It can recognize and avoid fixed and moving objects and drive smoothly, providing a fast delivery time.

The Hyundai Group also plans to test outdoor delivery services within a residential/commercial complex through a partnership with Korean delivery company Woowa Brothers. In the case of this last mile delivery pilot project, a robot will pick up restaurant orders made by customers through an application and deliver the orders to customers’ doors. Based on the pilot program results, the Group plans to expand the use and operating hours as well as the number of robots.

“PnD-based delivery robots allow quicker delivery times with improved safety through the use of autonomous driving technology, including fast obstacle avoidance capabilities,” said Dong Jin Hyun, Head of Robotics LAB of Hyundai Motor Group. “We plan to keep upgrading mobility services, convenience, safety and affordability for customers through our pilot programs.”


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