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Press Release

10.17.2019

thyssenkrupp launches elevator interface to allow seamless multi-level robot movement throughout hotels, hospitals and other buildings

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  • Interface eliminates restrictions previously impacting robot movement in buildings, allowing them to move freely regardless of building size or height.
  • Robotics elevator interface launch reinforces thyssenkrupp’s commitment to creating smarter building transportation solutions through advanced engineering and digital transformation.

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ALPHARETTA, GEORGIA (October 17, 2019) – thyssenkrupp Elevator North America has launched a robotics interface platform to assist with robot delivery services throughout buildings. By incorporating the elevator interface with delivery robots, building owners and managers can improve inhouse logistics, increase productivity and maximize the tenant experience.

Previously, robots could not operate independently and use elevators, severely limiting their use within a multi-story building. Now, thyssenkrupp’s sophisticated interface allows communication between the robot and the elevator, which enables robots to make floor selections and use elevators like a normal passenger.

“thyssenkrupp Elevator is helping shape the smart cities of the future with our innovative technologies and solutions that make passenger movement safer and more efficient for everyone, including robots,” said Kevin Lavallee, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator North America.

Successful projects have been completed at prominent hotels and hospitals across the

U.S., as thyssenkrupp has partnered with leading robot manufacturers on these projects. Robotic elevator interfaces can be implemented to assist with housekeeping, room and luggage service; security patrolling and concierges; as well as aid in safe pharmaceutical and package delivery.

The interface permits robots to select floors, but instead of pushing an elevator button like a human does, the robot can call for an elevator wirelessly via WiFi or 4G LTE. With thyssenkrupp’s advanced technology, the robot wirelessly selects and exits the elevator upon reaching its destination. Using Machine Vision, a robot can determine if an elevator has enough room or if it’s too full to accommodate the robot.

All elevator communication is done wirelessly through thyssenkrupp’s TAC family of controllers. The interface, which is only compatible with thyssenkrupp software and hardware, can be installed in as little as one day.

According to MarketsandMarketsTM, the delivery robot market is expected to grow from $11.9 million in 2018 to $34 million in 2024. Hotels are increasingly testing this technology to offset rising labor costs, increase revenue from room service as well as attract customers to increase occupancy and room rates.

Meanwhile, hospitals are utilizing robots for deliveries to and from pharmacies, laboratories, blood banks, nurse stations, waiting rooms, patient rooms, administrative offices and gift shops. The robot can also lock and secure important cargo such as pharmaceuticals, ensuring it gets to the right patient on time while also improving inventory management.

“Technology-savvy organizations in pursuit of improved operational efficiencies are embracing the virtually unlimited potential of this technology and how they can implement robots and the elevator interface into their day-to-day activities,” continued Lavallee.

This is not thyssenkrupp Elevator’s first foray into the world of robotics. In 2017, thyssenkrupp announced the launch of pilot project in which delivery robots would transport spare parts and other materials from the warehouse to elevator maintenance job sites faster and more efficiently.

In addition to robotics, thyssenkrupp has recently launched two technological advancements poised to revolutionize elevator efficiency – MAX and AGILE. MAX is the elevator industry’s first near real-time, cloud-based predictive maintenance solution that identifies issues before they occur, increasing elevator availability and reducing downtime.

There are currently 130,000 units connected to MAX worldwide.

Meanwhile, the AGILE elevator enhancement package uses advanced algorithms to dynamically adjust elevator dispatching to improve people flow by up to 30 percent. The AGILE package also enables property managers to control and manage their building in new ways, including the capability to personalize elevator touchscreens and kiosks with unique messages, colors, images or fonts. AGILE bridges the gap between traditional elevator systems and the elevators of the future by providing a smart environment of unprecedented speed, connectivity and personalization.

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ABOUT US

TK Elevator (formerly: thyssenkrupp Elevator)

With customers in over 100 countries served by 50,000 employees, TK Elevator achieved sales of around €8 billion in the fiscal year 2019/2020. Over 1,000 locations around the world provide an extensive network that guarantees closeness to customers. Over the past decades, TK Elevator has established itself as one of the world’s leading elevator companies and became independent since its sale by thyssenkrupp AG in August 2020. The company’s most important business line is the service business represented by over 24,000 service technicians. The product portfolio covers commodity elevators for residential and commercial buildings to cutting-edge, highly customized solutions for state-of-the-art skyscrapers. In addition, it also consists of escalators and moving walks, passenger boarding bridges, stair and platform lifts. Integrated cloud-based service solutions, such as the MAX platform, are gaining in importance. With these digital offerings, there are no limits to urban mobility anymore. TKE – move beyond.