NTT Communications Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President & CEO: Toru Maruoka, “NTT Com”), and NTT Corporation (Head Office:Chioyda-ku, Tokyo, President & CEO: Akira Shimada, “NTT”) are working together to reduce the need for human labor by utilizing robots in a new initiative. The four companies are conducting demonstration experiments involving food delivery using autonomous robots linked to mobile ordering apps. Through this demonstration, they also aim to create new and valuable experiences for office workers and sales opportunities for restaurants. This demonstration will begin on October 3, 2022, at the Urbannet Nagoya Nexta Building (1-chome, Higashi-sakura, Higashi-ku, Nagoya), a new construction completed in January 2022.

Fig. 1: Home Delivery Robot “DeliRo”

Fig. 1: Home Delivery Robot “DeliRo”

Outline of the Demonstration Experiment

Point 1.
We will create a new valuable experience that delivers products from mobile orders for office workers who do not have time to go shopping due to obligations like sudden meetings.

Point 2.
We can efficiently deliver products to designated locations at specific times by collecting, predicting, and analyzing data such as crowd and reservation information to create optimal routes and operation plans.

Point 3.
Office workers can complete everything from ordering to payment through an app. Since robots autonomously collect and deliver, restaurants can also acquire new sales opportunities.

Seamless coordination between robots and buildings is becoming commonplace. By collecting building facility information, route and store traffic information, and other data in the cloud, the robot autonomously searches for the optimal route without human instructions after receiving an order, all to pick up and deliver to the applicable floor.

Schedule:
STEP 1 Oct. 3, 2022 ― Nov. 30, 2022
STEP 2 After January 2023

*After confirming the basic movements and operations of robots, restaurants, and users at one store during STEP 1, we plan to expand the target stores and users for demonstration in STEP 2.

Location:
Urbannet Nagoya Nexta Building (1-chome, Higashi-sakura, Higashi-ku, Nagoya)
Participants:
Restaurants in Urbannet Nagoya Next Building (partial)
Komugiya Co., Ltd. “ESPRIT NAGOYA” (Step 1)
Tenant office workers in “Urbannet Nagoya Next Building” (partial)
Robot Name:
ZMP, Inc.’s Home Delivery Robot “DeliRo”
Usage Fee:
Delivery during the demonstration experiment is free.
Verification Details

Verification of User Needs (users and restaurants)

User Needs
  • Food and beverages delivered in a reasonable amount of time
    (within 5 minutes before or after the scheduled delivery time)
  • Be able to receive food and drink as desired
Restaurant Needs
  • Operation for robot delivery is not a hindrance to store management
  • Contributes to increased sales opportunities

Verification of Technology

Optimal Route Identification
  • Appropriate delivery can be determined automatically by using technology that grasps and predicts the external environment, such as traffic on the delivery route and the usage of elevators, etc., calculating the optimal route.
Delivery Route Optimization
  • Multiple orders can be efficiently delivered in the shortest time and with the least number of operations using multiple robots.
Robot Control Optimization System
  • Combine the above two technologies to plan and deliver the optimal operation, appropriately delivering at the time requested by the user.

We will utilize NTT’s “Machizukuri DTC®1 and “4D Digital Platform®2 technologies to achieve this demonstration. In addition, we will utilize 5G for communication with the robot, characterized by high speed, a large capacity, and low latency. 5G communication will achieve safe and secure indoor delivery services by determining the position information of the robot, providing camera footage while on the road, and the operation status of multiple units.

Fig. 2: Robot delivery service and system overview

 

Role of Each Collaborator:

NTT Urban Solutions
  • Robot utilization service planning
  • Use case study and verification
NTT Urban Development
  • Various adjustments and environment maintenance (for the provision of demonstration services in the demonstration field)
NTT Com
  • Development of the 5G/LTE communication environment
  • Various considerations and adjustments related to robots for system implementation
NTT
  • Development of predictive optimization technology and algorithms comprising “MachiZukuri DTC®” in collaboration with NTT Smart Data Science Center

Upcoming Developments

Initiatives to Use Robots

NTT Urban Solutions already uses robots for security and cleaning at Urbannet Nagoya Nexta Building. In the future, we will continue to work toward further utilization of robots in buildings and districts in anticipation of a declining working population, such as delivery by robots within districts (including indoors and outdoors), integrated control (including robots with different purposes), and the multi-use of robots. We will continue to study and verify the surrounding issues.

NTT Group’s vision for urban development

NTT Group aims to create new value by integrating various robots into the lives of each person through the “MachiZukuri DTC®” utilizing the IOWN Concept3 technology.

The robots will not only fulfill the functions of delivery, security, and cleaning, but will also predict and anticipate each person’s current condition to provide comfort, security, convenience, and excitement.

わが まち みらい
Astro Boy is used as the image character for the “Machizukuri DTC®” promotion by NTT Urban Solutions.

©Tezuka Productions

Our Future Town “The Future Beyond our Imagination is Just Around the Corner”

1“MachiZukuri DTC®” is a technology that optimizes the entire city by linking various functions such as store management, food loss prevention, and personal service (hospitality) based on the concept of digital twin computing4. Please refer to the Related Press Releases section below to see other related initiatives.

2 The 4D Digital Platform® provides various sensing data collected in real time of people, things, and events, including information on latitude, longitude, altitude, and time. It is a platform that enables data fusion and future prediction in cooperation with various industrial platforms by syncing and integrating with high accuracy. Using NTT’s IOWN concept as a foundation to support “Digital Twin Computing (DTC)”,
the technology of NTT Laboratories, and the know-how and assets of the NTT Group, we are proceeding
with the commercialization of functions from fiscal 2021 and their expansion through continuous research and development. For more information, please visit the site below.
https://www.rd.ntt/4ddpf/

3 The “IOWN concept” uses innovative technology to exceed the limits of conventional infrastructure, optimize the individual and entire systems based on various kinds of information, and create a prosperous society open to diversity. It is a network and information processing infrastructure including terminals that can provide high-speed, large-capacity communication and innovative technologies centered on this concept.
https://www.rd.ntt/iown/0001.html

At the NTT R&D Forum: Road to IOWN 2022*, which will be held from Nov. 16th- 18th, 2022, we will exhibit a robot-based food delivery operation demonstration.

*NTT R&D Forum 2022 Homepage:https://www.rd.ntt/forum/2022/index.html

4 “Digital Twin Computing (DTC)” is the construction of digital replicas of things and people found in the real world. Systems that could not be handled comprehensively until now can be reproduced with high accuracy, enabling predictions of the future.
https://www.rd.ntt/iown/0003.html

 

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