Panasonic is looking to expand the skill set of its Hospi delivery robot, which has already found work in hospitals in Japan and Singapore where it delivers medication and takes specimens to labs for testing.
Hospi is now being tested in the ANA Crowne Plaza Narita hotel in Japan, moving “around the lobby offering bottled beverages to hotel guests. It will also provide information about bus departures.” And from Jan. 23-27, Hospi will be tested in the travel lounge at Narita International Airport, carrying dirty dishes back to the kitchen to be cleaned by its human co-workers.
However, Panasonic says “at the moment, there are no plans to introduce the Hospi to the Narita International Airport and the ANA Crowne Plaza Narita more permanently.”
Think of Hospi as the Japanese equivalent of Savioke’s relay robot, which is already being used at 50 hotels at press time and is expanding to new markets in 2017, CEO Steve Cousins told Robotics Trends at CES 2017.
Hospi is about five feet tall and has a battery life of 9 hours. The Hospi robots working inside hospitals were pre-programmed with hospital map data and have sensors to help it avoid obstacles, such as patients in wheelchairs, in its path. Hospi can be updated to follow new routes, and it
communicates and relays information on its whereabouts to a control center, enabling its location to be monitored and recorded at all times.
According to Panasonic, the contents inside Hospi are “highly secured” and are “accessible only using ID cards to avoid tampering, theft and damage during delivery.”