Hyundai unveils an autonomous room service robot

13 Dec 2022

Hyundai Motor Group has launched a pilot programme to developers advanced ‘Plug and Drive’ autonomous robot systems – by delivering room service in a Korean hotel.

The Korean car giant has put autonomous robots powered using its Plug and Drive (PnD) modular platform into action at the Rolling Hills Hotel, which is located close to Hyundai’s Namyang research and development centre. 

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It is one of two trials that the firm has started to develop its PnD technology, which was unveiled at the CES tech show back in January. Hyundai is also running a pilot outdoor delivery service at a residential and commercial complex near Seoul in partnership with Woowa Brothers, which runs the Baemin food delivery app.

Both trials use a deliver robot that features a PnD driving platform with a storage unit mounted on the top. That unit features somewhere to house food or packages for delivery, along with a connected screen that can display information for customers.

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The PnD platform is a single wheel unit that features steering, braking, an electric drive unit and suspension all built into a single system, mated to a raft of LiDar and camera sensors to enable its to move autonomously.

Hyundai says that those systems mean that the robots can calculate the optimal route to deliver packages, and has the ability to avoid both fixed and moving objects. The robots also feature a special algorithm that allows them to learn their surrounding environment and people. 

At the Rolling Hills Hotel, the robots are being used to deliver room service from 2000hrs until 2200hrs in the evening, delivering for, drink and amenities. The system is run through the Korean messaging app Kakao Talk.

The robots are programmes so they can detect a door opening and then, when they see the intended recipient, open the storage compartment. Even better, when moving between floors the robots can detect how many people are on board an elevator and, if full, wait for the next one. How polite.

The other trial involves Hyundai PnD robots being used for door-to-door deliveries in an outdoor setting. Customers order food on Baemin and the robot finds the items in a shopping centre, and then delivers it to the front door. 

Dong Jin Hyun, who heads up Hyundai Motor Group’s robotics lab, said: “PnD-based delivery robots allow quicker delivery times with improved safety through the use of autonomous driving technology, including fast obstacle avoidance capabilities.”


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