MQDC Prepares Robot Revolution
24 Aug 2017Corporate
MQDC is investing in robot technology through its commitment to sustainable innovation – a policy the company dubs ‘sustainnovation’. This aims to combine economic development with social well-being and environmental sustainability.
MQDC is working with startup Obodroid in developing robot butlers, security guards, and parking attendants.
Obodroid is testing the technology at MQDC’s Whizdom Avenue Ratchada-Ladprao development, where security robots will be operating internally from year-end
HG Robotics, an Obodroid parent company, also makes sophisticated military robots but for this project aims to create ‘localized’ machines that incorporate Thai service culture
Research shows that condominium residents rely on security guards for many non-security duties, creating an opportunity to automate other functions
Bangkok, 24 August 2017 – International property developer MQDC is poised to unveil robot technology developed for its residences through the high-tech startup Obodroid.
Obodroid plans to start operating robots at MQDC’s Whizdom Avenue Ratchada-Ladprao project from the end of 2017. The first robots will operate as security guards but MQDC and Obodroid intend to also develop robot parking attendants and robot butlers.
In an initial test of public interaction, participants at the recent TEDx forum in Bangkok responded enthusiastically to 90cm-tall robots, according to Mr. Polnut Chalermwan, CEO of Obodroid.
“We tested four styles of robot behavior to see how people react in the real world,” he said. “Robots mingled with the crowd and we found TEDx attendees were keen to communicate with them.”
Obodroid’s designer, Ms. Aiyarin Jantankaew, created robots with an appealing, simplified look for TEDx, a forum on cutting-edge ideas for young people at Siam One on 5 August.
The taller security robots – likely to be about 150cm high – will have a more imposing appearance and assertive attitude, said Chalermwan.
“This robot won’t be able to catch thieves but it can send out alerts and approach with sounds and actions – and record videos – to help people in emergencies,” he said.
The residential robots will draw on advanced technology used in military applications, said Dr. Mahisorn Wongphati, Co-founder of HG Robotics, which is partnering in Obodroid.
“We build 6-metre UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] for the Thai military, pilotless spraying drones, and also autonomous boats,” he said. “All the robots are based on the same control system to monitor and control them.”
For residential roles, Wongphati points to research that shows how security guards are often drawn away from their core duties.
“In a condominium, a security guard is everything to the residents and they have to perform hundreds of tasks, such as helping when people park in the wrong place or get locked out,” he said.
For security robots, courtesy will also be crucial, he added.
“Localization is one of the most difficult aspects with robot technology,” said Wongphati. “A Thai robot has to be polite. Really high-end hotels normally have very little signage to get guests to ask staff. Robots could perfectly replace people at some places.”
Wongphati started a robot competition as an undergraduate and the completed a PhD in the field. He has worked in Japan, for NDR, an embedded system development company, and for Toshiba TEC, helping develop shopping trolley robots.
“I read Doraemon manga as a child and I wanted one,” he said.
“About 20-30% of what Doraemon has is already realized today. A butler robot will be in rooms in two to three years.”
MQDC is investing in robot technology through its commitment to sustainable innovation – a policy the company dubs ‘sustainnovation’. This aims to combine economic development, social well-being, and environmental sustainability.
About Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC)
Magnolia Quality Development Corporation is a business unit of DTGO Corporation Limited (DTGO) that develops, invests in, and manages villa, condominium, and mixed-use projects. MQDC develops residential and mixed-use projects under the Magnolias and Whizdom brands.
MQDC offers an industry-leading 30-year warranty on all its projects in line with its exceptional construction standards.
Under its mission to improve the quality of living for all, MQDC invests in research and development to create products and innovations for consumers as well as ecosystems that support environment-friendly living and add value to surrounding communities.
MQDC is determined to operate with concern for all life on Earth, advancing this agenda through sustainable development for the wider benefit of society. For more information, visit www.mqdc.com.
Media Contact: Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC) Pantamas Krikul VP, Corporate Communication & International Media RelationsCorporate Marketing Department M: 098 496 2646E: email@example.com