Hyundai pilots delivery robots at hotel and residential complex in Seoul

Hyundai announced two pilots for autonomous robot delivery services at a hotel and a residential-commercial complex in Seoul based on what it calls its Plug & Drive module platform.

The concept, first described nearly a year ago at CES 2022, relies on a single wheel design that combines steering, braking, in-wheel electric drive and suspension hardware. A steering actuator provides 360-degree rotation.

Lidar and camera sensors aid in autonomous movement, Hyundai said in a statement issued Monday.

 A storage unit on top of the driving unit allows the robots to transport food and other products to customers.

Dong Jin Hyun, head of the robotics lab of Hyundai Motor Group, said the company’s pilots are intended to help the company upgrade mobility services, safety and affordability.

The Hyundai pilot indicates continued interest in delivery robot technology, even amid some well-publicized recent decisions to stop field tests and pilots at Amazon for its Scout robot and FedEx for its Roxo delivery robot. Meanwhile, Starship Technologies has expanded delivery robots to more college campuses in recent months.  

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Hyundai’s robot appears to have autonomous driving features that some other delivery robots do not, including the ability to find an optimal route to deliver packages to recipients, as well as to avoid moving objects.

In one of the pilots, Rolling Hills Hotel in Seoul uses the Hyundai robot to deliver room service items that customers order via Kakao Talk, a messaging app. The robot can recognize the opening of a door and a recipient to open the storage compartment.

Also, Hyundai is working with Woowa Brothers for door-to-door deliveries at a residential/commercial complex in the Seoul outskirts. The robot can receive an order for food then find that item at a store in the complex, then deliver it to the customer, relying on wireless communication to access communal doors and elevators.  In a video on Youtube (below), Hyundai said the robot connects to a main server of the Rolling Hills Hotel to control elevator doors.