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Smart Buildings Report 2: (cont'd) Indoor Delivery Robots and Smart Indoor Navigation


Indoor delivery robots are seeing heightened adoption in restaurants, hotels and hospitals, particularly during the Covid-19 period. These are generally autonomous mobile robots with intelligent SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) self-navigation capabilities, along with compartments for storing the packages or food items to be delivered.
Newer generations or upgrades of such delivery robots come with the ability to interoperate and communicate with elevators, enabling the robots to plan routes and deliver across multiple floors.
Most indoor delivery robots tend to be offered with a robot-as-a-service (RaaS) model, which we introduced in our previous coverage of outdoor and indoor delivery robots with RaaS models. The rental model is usually on a per-robot basis - examples include Aethon TUG (US$1.5K-$2K/month), Keenon Peanut Waiter (US$650/month), Pudutech Waiter (US$650/month) and Savioke Relay (US$2K/month).
Developed by Hong Kong firm Rice Robotics, three Rice autonomous delivery robots, called Genie, Gena and Genius, have been deployed at L'hotel Island South in Hong Kong. These three robots are able to work tirelessly 24/7 (except during charging period) to deliver 130 to 150 meals a day to guests quarantined at its 432-room hotel - a timely implementation that helps to reduce person-to-person contact during the pandemic.
The Rice robot can be leased at a RaaS model of US$499 monthly per robot.
Rice Robot at L'Hotel Island South, Hong Kong

A robot with antimicrobial coating on its chassis, Jeeves was deployed at the Rilano Hotel in Munich as an autonomous delivery robot, helping to deliver hotel amenities, food, snacks and drinks to hotel guests.
Developed by Munich-based firm Robotise, Jeeves features a customizable multi-drawer configuration and provides different compartments for hot food, snacks and hotel amenities, and chilled drinks and is able to diligently make room deliveries within 10 minutes upon request.
Jeeves the delivery robot by Robotise at Rilano Hotels & Resorts


Over the past 15-20 years, general indoor navigation has been a difficult technology for researchers and tech companies to "perfect". Solutions using ultra-wideband (UWB) technologies were highly accurate, but not feasible nor economical as additional investment in dedicated connectivity infrastructure was required. Solutions that leverage on existing Wi-fi infrastructure of buildings were feasible and economical, but lack the accuracy, timeliness and consistency required for real-time indoor positioning.
With the emergence of powerful smartphones in recent years with wi-fi, bluetooth, accelerometers, compasses and other sensors built in, smartphone-based real-time indoor navigation has become more reliable and accurate by incorporating these various sensor data in determining and affirming the indoor location of the smartphone user.
Indoor Atlas's indoor navigational intelligence is achieved by fusing data from myriad indoor connectivity technologies, such as bluetooth, Wi-Fi and magnetic sensors. Through its SDK, Indoor Atlas enables developers to build smart indoor applications, such as search, wayfinding and location-based marketing, within buildings and stores.
Indoor Atlas, smart indoor navigation platform in use in supermarket aisles.
Instead of relying on indoor navigational platforms which typically have an accuracy of 1-3 meters of more, the BlindSquare app uses the BlindSquare Beacon Positioning System to ensure the tightest accuracy in guiding the visually impaired. This require buildings to install a network of iBeacons, marking indoor furniture and objects, such as reception desk or doors.
By pointing the smartphone in different directions, the Blindsquare app is able to inform the user of the various points of interest that are marked, enabling the user to choose and walk towads the desired point of interest.
BlindSquare, smart indoor navigation for the visually impaired


In Report 2, we have explored the IoT and robotics solution involved in the flow and navigation of people and things within buildings, and also how the security and hospitality protocols in lobbies have dramatically changed as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
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