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BOX PC powers automated service robots

19 May 2020

Leader in IoT and AI edge computing solutions, AAEON, has worked with customers to deploy the compact BOXER-8110AI to power automated service robots in hotels and other service industries.

With the ongoing Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic, many countries and communities have banned large assemblies and events, and advised citizens to avoid unnecessary meetings and reduce contact through practicing social isolation. One tool several hotels have deployed, even prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, is the automated service robot. Providing room service autonomously helps to reduce disease vectors between guests and staff, as well as lighten the workload during seasons of high service demand. AAEON customers have developed a service robot powered by the BOXER-8110AI which is already operating in several hotels.

The BOXER-8110AI with NVIDIA Jetson TX2 powers the robot, helping it to navigate through hotels and service facilities. Coupled with a 3D camera, the BOXER-8110AI analyzes the surrounding environment, determining the best path to its destination, avoiding obstacles and people. Connecting wirelessly, the BOXER-8110AI allows the robot to call and control elevators to reach the correct floor. The robot can use its own sensors, as well as those of the elevator, to determine if the elevator is too crowded to enter and avoid bumping into guests or the elevator itself. Once at the correct room, the robot connects wirelessly to ring the doorbell and alert guests of its arrival. A touchscreen on the robot provides guests with instructions to receive their ordered items. Once finished, the service robot automatically returns to its original location.

The BOXER-8110AI is a compact embedded BOX PC built for AI and edge computing applications. It features the NVIDIA Jetson TX2 SoC, equipped with 256 CUDA cores for powering AI inferences and deep learning frameworks including TensorFlow, Caffe2, and MXNet, as well as support software developed by users. The BOXER-8110AI features I/O ports designed for flexibility in integrating with projects, including CANBus and COM ports used for machine and motor control. The rugged and fanless design of the BOXER-8110AI allows for stable, reliable embedded operation in a wide range of temperatures and environments, allowing deployment in virtually any task.

“While this particular use case has been deployed in hotels, AAEON is currently working with developers and customers to provide a similar solution for deployment in hospitals to deliver food and other supplies to quarantine rooms or even negative pressure wards.” said Alex Hsueh, Director of AAEON’s System Platform Division.

“Hospital staff can ensure the different nutritional needs of patients are met by delivering meals directly to each ward. This not only reduces risk of infection through unnecessary contact between staff and quarantined patients, but can help reduce workload during a time when hospitals are at risk of being overburdened with patients. By applying this application vital services can continue uninterrupted while preventing further spread of disease.”

 
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