7 nov 2022 • 5 min read
Pepper©Softbank Robotics and Nao, making it a fun and practical addition to the dining experience
Paris/Bochum – November 7, 2022 – United Robotics Group launched Plato, the company’s first cobiot - robot for humans - today in Europe and the United States. The cobiot makes its debut at Paris’ Equip Hotel, France’s leading hospitality and food business tradeshow taking place from November 6 to 10.
The cobiot, designed in Paris and manufactured in France functions in lively, fast-moving environments like restaurants, features an autonomous mobile platform and smart indoor navigation system, destined to support the hospitality and food industry service workers with delivery experiences and advanced safety features.
By combining the functions of industrial and social robotics, with its optimal HRI (HumanRobot Interface), Plato inherits not only the interactivity and expressivity from the world’s wellknown humanoid robots Pepper© Softbank Robotics and NAO but also comes with high-level standards of stability and reliability.
“As the world emerges from the Covid-19 crisis, expectations for experiences in the service industry are at an all-time high. Coupled with job shortages, workers in the food sector are particularly on the front line of offering these experiences of service and care,” explains Thomas Linkenheil, COO and CFO at United Robotics Group. “With Plato, and more generally, CobiotX, we are revolutionizing the way humans interact with robots and are supporting the service industry workers with better working conditions and putting the emphasis on the value they bring to the hospitality experience.”
Plato’s functionalities will support staff in providing more customer interaction and less rush or stress linked to back-and-forth runs through the restaurant. The Cobiot’s friendly face and sounds will also add a fun dynamic to the restaurant experience as guests will see the robot move through the space alone and deliver dishes and condiments to their table.
“Plato, supports service workers in a variety of daily tasks including delivering food and drinks, bussing and dressing tables, to create better working conditions that allow them to focus on the most essential and valuable part of their work - customer service and social interaction,” said Julia Astrid Riemenschneider, VP of Business Development Management at United Robotics Group. “We are providing not only just a convenient tool to the service workers but also helping the business owners to improve their staff retention, also increase revenues and higher average billing per table by allowing waiters more time to focus on their guests. We also bring peace of mind, with dedicated deployment service and local support, the whole installation process becomes easy and fast to the users.”
“There is a massive desertification of our profession and a real need to support and train our new talent,” explains Guillaume Gardin, owner of Henriette Bistro Moderne in Beaucouzé near Angers where Plato is already in service. “Plato allows the waiters to remain in the restaurant with clients, giving them more time to present the menu, and using Plato for tasks with little to no added value like bussing or delivering cutlery [...] the objective is not to replace workers, but to support them, help them save time and improve work quality conditions.”
Lucas Felici, Deputy Manager of the Oceania Porte de Versailles Hotel explains: “Plato is an extra set of hands – especially for bussing. Plato is especially helpful for breakfast service, making the most of its 35-kilo capacity, it’s a big help for our team.”
Plato was entirely designed in Paris with 68% of the value of components are sourced from Europe. Plato harnesses the power of Aldebaran’s historic excellence of social robots, like Pepper© Softbank Robotics and NAO, in a modular design that allows for sustainable evolution, maintenance and reuse of designs and components.
With an intuitive UI (User Interface) Plato is so easy to use and to get hands-on with that makes it the only robotic system with a smart configurable setup without technical training. Plato easily detects every detail of the surroundings, dynamically adapting to changing conditions in order to avoid collisions. With integrated cameras and motion sensors in strategic placement along the “body” of the cobiot, Plato can respond to unexpected situations and obstacles ensuring safe movement when surrounded by humans.
“Inspired by smartphones designed for humans, instead of power-hungry PC-life hardware with difficult upgrades, the architecture used in the development of Plato’s ‘neural engine’ is designed for seamless updates adapting to fast-changing environments,” explains Xavier Lachérade, Responsible for Product Powerhouse Director at United Robotics Group and Managing Director of Aldebaran France. “A complete set-up can be done with any staff in less than one hour. A runner can create his/her first map in below 30 minutes by simply pushing the cobiot manually or remotely configuring it on a tablet, and modifying Plato’s destinations at will, without any technical knowledge or change in the environment.”
With additional features like a hands-free Bluetooth command microphone, Plato has the capacity to further facilitate use with an integrated hands-free CobiotX voice command. The headsets include state-of-the-art features such as simple command and feedback, multilingual support, as well as on-the-go interruptions, augmenting service workers’ capacity to support parallel tasks.
Plato enters the market as the only serving robot that complies with the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC" required for the European Union market, which aims at the free circulation of robots in an uncontrolled and changing environment and at the protection of service workers and consumers: Plato is the first and only robot operating in public spaces to get this certification.
Developed with the principle of Privacy by Design, Plato is compliant with GDPR to ensure data protection. The customers have complete ownership of their map and data and will be able to access the daily analytics with key performance indicators, stored in the cloud, for greater governance and a better understanding of cobiot utilization.
Plato will be on display at the Paris Equiphotel, supporting staff at the Table Astronomique Restaurant of the show from November 7 to 10 and will be available for leasing and purchase through the Robots as a Service model.
J.Kober@unitedrobotics.group I +49 174 615 9342
Welcome to AcaDay, a specialized event exclusively tailored for the NAO and Pepper community.
We are excited to announce Pepper's presence at the DRP Festival, an event set to reshape the convergence of art, fashion, and technology.
. The European leader in service robotics will present service robots in the aviation and airport sectors for the first time, responding to hospitality and security challenges. · United Robotics Co-CEO Thomas Linkenheil will explore the future role of service robotics in developing new airport experiences. · Plato, the first serving cobiot will be presented in solutions for airport hospitality from lounge service to catering. · RBWatcher, a solution for autonomous or controlled multi-sensor inspection and surveillance can support security teams on the ground.
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