Hyundai Motor Group has started a pilot delivery service program using autonomous robots based on its Plug & Drive (PnD) modular platform at a hotel 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.
First shown at CES 2022, the Group’s PnD modular platform is an all-in-one single wheel 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.
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 Rolling Hills Hotel is employing the robot for evening room service from 8 PM to 10 PM. Guests can use Kakao Talk to place orders and track delivery progress in real-time. The robot is equipped with a deep learning algorithm that recognizes its surroundings and people, automatically opening its storage compartment when it detects the recipient. It can also communicate through appropriate screen messages and in a suitable tone, and it is capable of avoiding obstacles and collisions in narrow hotel corridors.
The robot is connected to the elevators, enabling it to move between floors without human assistance and to deliver goods via the optimal route. Hyundai has partnered with Woowa Brothers, a Korean delivery company, to enhance the technology and services of their last-mile delivery 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.”