7 nov 2022 • 5 min read
Bochum/Paris – 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’ EquipHotel, France’s leading hospitality and food business tradeshow taking place from November 7 to 10.
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 and NAO but also comes with high-level standards of stability and reliability.
The cobiot, designed in Paris and manufactured in France to function 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.
“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.”
Responding to the evolving challenges of the hospitality industry
In France alone, reported work related accidents, namely muscle strains and sprains from either slips and falls, repetitive motions, standing in the same place for long periods of time or lifting heavy objects, in the services industry represented nearly 2 million combined lost working days per year and 600€ million annual cost of employee fluctuation in Europe for recruitment, selection, training, education, productivity loss, and exit costs.
“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, 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.”
Responsible eco-design Made in France with easy set-up and integration
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 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, making 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. “Thanks to the Qualcomm processor and technology, Plato can be easily set up by staff and integrated into the restaurant environment. 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.
GDPR compliance and safety certifications
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.
About United Robotics Group Founded by Thomas Hähn in 2019, United Robotics Group unites young service robotics companies into a unique ecosystem by bundling hardware and software expertise under one roof. Headquartered in Bochum, Germany, United Robotics Group brings together cutting-edge technology and robotic experts from both the social and industrial world. United Robotics Group shares the common ambition to empower humanity with technology, and lighten processes for humans, helping them focus on human interactions in a safe and secure environment.
As the CobiotX company who created this 3rd generation of robotics – robots for humans, the United Robotics Group is committed to developing standardized and customized solutions to meet social and business challenges in the life science, health and care, hospitality, education, intralogistics, maintenance and surveillance sectors with quality, data protection and sustainability as key driving forces. All planning humans in the center of all.
RSBG SE, the investment entity of RAG-Stiftung, focused on technology and engineering driven companies is majority shareholder of United Robotics Group. SoftBank Robotics Group is minority shareholder of United Robotics Group.
To learn more about United Robotics Group: www.unitedrobotics.group | LinkedIn
J.Kober@unitedrobotics.group I +49 174 615 9342
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. 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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