NAVER turns its 1784 building into a hybrid human and robot working environment | TechBuzz

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NAVER is testing an ultra-modern human-robot environment in its 1784 building. An experiment that could teach us a lot.

NAVER, the leading search engine in South Korea, is transforming its 1784 building into an environment in which “humans work in harmony with robots”. The goal is to have 100 robots that evolve autonomously in the building to provide various services to employees. 1784 is a reference to the year of the beginning of the industrial revolution.

NAVER tests an ultra-modern human robot environment in its 1784 building

The ROOKIE robot will be the main platform for this experiment. The robots will even have their own reserved elevator to move up the floors quickly. These will also be “brainless”, meaning that they will be controlled by an ARC, a centralized artificial intelligence via a dedicated 5G network, all managed by NAVER Cloud.

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ARC stands for Ai Robot Cloud and brings together the artificial intelligence software, low latency network and cloud computing resources. For example, artificial intelligence includes the ARC eyes and brain, two vital neural networks that help manage robots. They use ARC eyes to know where they are and find the best way to their destination. No need for GPS.

This architecture is the opposite of the “edge AI” used by others. With Edge AI, the robot has its computing platform and does not need constant access to the network. With the centralization implemented by NAVER, software updates and incremental improvements are much easier, which is essential in the testing phase. In addition, the set can take advantage of the denser computing power of a data center and make robots more efficient, both in terms of cost and autonomy.

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NAVER even designed a “digital twin” to facilitate the development of its artificial intelligence. Digital twins are virtual 3D worlds that replicate the physical environments in which robots operate. In these worlds, robots can learn and be tested quickly and safely. Several scenarios can be considered and it is even possible to run simulations much faster than in the real world.

An experiment that could teach us a lot

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Robots aside, the CLOVA FaceSign device can identify employees moving around the building, even if they are wearing masks. NAVER even imagines performing artificial intelligence-based physical examinations and drawing other non-contact in-depth conclusions based solely on the videos taken by the cameras. From a privacy point of view, it would be interesting to know how employees react to this.

The 1784 building was thought out and designed with the very best in technology and trends, particularly following the pandemic. For example, each floor has its own HVAC system so that possible pathogens do not spread between floors. And for the sake of comfort, the building has its own fully equipped clinic.

Its double-layer facade and radiant cooling allow it to offer very high energy efficiency, which is particularly advantageous in the face of the hot summers that affect the country.

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This project is a very promising giant experiment. What services could robots offer in such an environment? Will productivity be increased? What about the well-being of on-site employees? Hopefully we will have answers soon.

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