We see more and more development in robotics and machine learning. It raises the question how wayfinding software and services can be used in the future. Robots can be very helpful for visitors. Especially if we take into account older, disabled, or people in wheelchairs. Will robots help you indoor wayfinding in the future?
Today we can already see many robots in the military and in rescue. Additionally, we see great development in the service industry like in bartenders and chefs in kitchens. LG has become a significant robot developer in the service industry with their CLOi guidebot.
In Baltics, Hansab has their version of a service robot called Pepper. China is doing a lot of work in robotics as well, one company for example is Suzhou Pangolin Robot Co.,Ltd or Csjbot. This shows that robots are slowly but firmly entering to our everyday life.
How can robots or guide bots help with indoor wayfinding?
There are several ways how to apply robots in wayfinding:
1. Robot is moving around the mall, public space, hospitals, or university. Any person who’s lost can ask floor map and directions or perform additional tasks on the robot/bot touch screen.
2. Visitor can scan a printed QR code to ask the robot to guide them to the final destination. Scanning the QR code after that robot arrives at the visitor’s location and guides him/her to the desired location. This is especially useful for visitors who are older people, disabled, or in wheelchairs. For them using self-service kiosks might be harder to do.
3. In hospitals doctors move between different rooms and services might locate even in different buildings. Robots can guide patients to the right doctor or help to find their way to the right services. Robots can be signed to one patient or for group to help and guide them. For example, after a doctor’s check-up clients can ask for directions on-screen or ask the robot to guide them all the way to a blood test and after that to X-ray. We all know how big hospitals can be, even people with a good sense of direction can be lost sometimes.
Do you have experience or ideas on how to apply robotics to wayfinding? We are happy to know your thoughts in the comment section!
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3D Wayfinder team