Humanoid robots are among the most eye-catching devices at CES, and Aeolus Robotics today introduced aeo, a dual-armed robot designed for a variety of service tasks. The San Jose, Calif.-based company said the new robot combines mobility with the functionality to open doors, pick up objects, and ride elevators.
“Our goal is to create robots that will enhance quality of life and advance the positive impact robots already have on society,” stated Alexander Huang, global CEO of Aeolus Robotics. “Our experience deploying robots in environments as diverse as senior care, hospitals, public transportation offices, and hotels led us to develop our dual-arm humanoid robot aeo.”
“aeo comes from the continuous development and refinement of a new robot platform begun after the 2018 single-arm Aeolus robot debut,” he told Robotics 24/7. “This second-generation platform began service in eldercare facilities in 2020. Today, aeo is equipped with two third-generation arms, evolved to optimize performance based on the needs of real-world deployments.”
aeo applies two arms to tasks
Founded in 2016, Aeolus Robotics first deployed its service robots in Japan in 2019 and is expanding to markets around the world.
aeo's dual arms have seven degrees of freedom (DOF), and each can lift up to 8 lb. (3.6 kg). The robot can perform tasks such as delivery or disinfection with one arm, while the other arm is free for mobility tasks such as operating elevators and opening doors.
“The beauty of aeo is that it can use the arms for different tasks depending on the use case, or [it] can do both at the same time,” said Huang. “We have customers that use aeo for disinfecting elevators—aeo uses one arm to push the elevator button and the other arm for disinfecting.”
“aeo’s base is powered by two independent drive wheels combined with advanced human-aware navigation algorithms,” he added. “aeo’s base is fully developed internally by Aeolus, including human-aware navigation and whole-body control algorithms.”
Aeolus said aeo’s vision algorithms provide a wide range of capabilities, from determining the posture and position of eldercare residents for safety to detecting open windows or misplaced backpacks for security services.
Connected robot to assist caregivers
The humanoid robot is designed to assist caregivers and staffers, Huang noted.
“The staff stays connected to aeo while it performs autonomous tasks through a suite of Web and native smartphone apps,” he explained. “The staff can schedule aeo’s work, ask it to perform tasks on demand, check status, and receive alerts from anywhere in the facility using the apps.”
The humanoid robot features plug-and-play attachments and integration with third-party developers such as Japan-based Asratec and Taiwan-based Malibu AI.
“We will be showing some of our partner services at CES, such as a fully automated hotel check-in system,” said Huang. “We are excited to enter the U.S. market and begin working with other third-party developers.”
aeo is available through a robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) subscription model. Is there a remote troubleshooting feature?
“On-site physical maintenance and service is performed by Aeolus or a distributor, depending on the market and distribution channel,” Huang replied. “Remote support is provided to ensure smooth running of the robotic services.”
Diverse humanoid deployments under way
aeo currently offers a range of services such as security patrols in offices and schools, delivering medical supplies across hospitals, operating kiosks, and disinfecting facilities, said Aeolus Robotics.
Some of the largest eldercare providers in Japan, such as Medical Care Service Inc., Cocofump, and HIMEDIC, have deployed aeo. Major Japanese real-estate and property management companies, including Tokyu Group and Globeship Corp. are also using the system.
“Our company operates a time-share membership hotel, which includes a senior care department that operates as a combination of hospitality, medical care, and nursing care,” said Kayo Kojima, general manager of senior life for Central Japan at HIMEDIC.
“The robot is already one of our colleagues and a key member of our team,” she said. “The robot takes on completing simple tasks that frees up our staff to have more time to interact with patients and staff. As a result, the resident and patient care interaction and hospitality services we provide will improve.”
Aeolus Robotics looking to expand in the U.S.
Huang said aeo is also deployed in “dozens of facilities” in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The company is soliciting partnerships with integrators and distributors in the U.S.
At CES 2023 this week, Aeolus Robotics is exhibiting at Booth 9842 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. It also showcased aeo at Pepcom.
“At our CES booth, we will be showing a fully automated hotel check-in check-out system co-developed with Malibu AI in Taiwan,” said Huang. “The system includes an arm-mounted kiosk, including tablet, cash, and credit-card machines. We will also demonstrate providing room keys and change.”
“This is a uniquely flexible system and mobile system,” he claimed. “Asratec is another developer that we work with, and they are developing solutions such as fleet management and autonomous patrol services using Aeolus APIs.”