Currently Reading

Robot uprising

Great Solutions

Robot uprising

Thyssenkrupp’s robotics interface platform helps robots use elevators like humans.

By David Malone, Associate Editor | December 18, 2019
Delivery robot boarding elevator

With thyssenkrupp’s robotics interface platform, delivery robots can move freely from floor to floor within multistory office, hospitality, or healthcare settings to do anything from helping with housekeeping to securely delivering pharmaceuticals. Photos: thyssenkrupp.

Imagine you are standing in an elevator, patiently waiting to arrive at your floor. Before you arrive at your destination, the cab slows to a stop to pick up another passenger.

But as the doors slide open, you see it isn’t another person at all. It’s a robot. After a slight pause, the robot rolls in and selects its desired floor. A few seconds of awkward elevator music later, the doors open again and the robot rolls out without a parting word. You are left standing there, a little confused, a little curious, and just the slightest bit unsettled.

How is it possible that a robot can use an elevator? Well, it’s simple now, thanks to thyssenkrupp Elevator North America’s new robotics interface platform.

Previously, there was no way for delivery robots to operate elevators independently. This limited their use in multistory buildings in urban centers.

But thyssenkrupp’s interface facilitates communication between the robot and the elevator, allowing them to call one and make floor selections like a human passenger.


Delivery robot in office


Instead of an R2-D2–like gadget rising from the top of the robot to manually push a button, the interface allows a robot to interact with the elevator wirelessly via Wi-Fi or 4G LTE through thyssenkrupp’s TAC family of controllers. After an elevator arrives, the robot uses Machine Vision to determine if there is enough room to enter or if the cab is full. While the interface is only compatible with the manufacturer’s software and hardware, it can be installed in as little as one day.


See Also: Skanska designs personal protective equipment tailor-made for the female workforce


Thyssenkrupp has partnered with leading robot manufacturers to successfully integrate this technology in several hotel and hospital projects across the country. Robotic elevator interfaces have been used to assist with housekeeping, room and luggage service, security patrolling and concierges, and pharmaceutical and package delivery.

According to thyssenkrupp, incorporating the elevator interface with delivery robots can help building owners manage and improve in-house logistics, increase productivity, and maximize the tenant experience.

This software comes at an opportune time, as the delivery robot market is expected to nearly triple between 2018 and 2024, growing from $11.9 million to $34 million, according to a study by Markets and Markets.

Related Stories

Great Solutions | Sep 23, 2021

Seattle looks to become America’s most walkable city with a new citywide wayfinding system

Seamless Seattle will support the Seattle Department of Transportation’s commitment to increase the percentage of trips made by walking to 35% by 2035.

Great Solutions | Jul 9, 2021

MojoDesk creates a new solution for managing open office distractions

The MojoDome allows for a private work space while also maintaining a collaborative environment.

Great Solutions | Mar 18, 2021

Follow the leader: New following technology better equips robots for the jobsite

New proof-of-concept from Piaggio Fast Forward and Trimble enables robots and machines to follow humans.

Great Solutions | Feb 11, 2021

Simplifying the return to the office

A new web-based tool from Sasaki takes the guesswork out of heading back to the workplace.

Great Solutions | Oct 6, 2020

Could water-filled windows help buildings save energy?

New research shows how water-filled glass could help heat and cool buildings.

Great Solutions | Aug 10, 2020

From lobby to penthouse, elevators can be a 100% touch-free experience

The Toe-To-Go elevator system allows riders to operate the elevator entirely with their feet.

Great Solutions | Jul 13, 2020

Essential protection for businesses

Custom protective barriers help keep essential business employees safe.

Great Solutions | Apr 13, 2020

Family workstations highlight the new Fairfield Area Library

The workstations are the perfect remedy for squirming, restless children and toddlers.

Great Solutions | Feb 5, 2020

Power moves: The Shed

Precise positioning of mechanicals above its lighting keeps New York’s kinetic event space, The Shed, running.

Great Solutions | Nov 12, 2019

Skanska designs personal protective equipment tailor-made for the female workforce

A safety vest is the first piece of equipment to undergo an update.

More In Category

Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: