True Group is joining US-based robotics startup Savioke to introduce Relay Robot.

Songtham Phiapattanawit, managing director of IoT for True Corporation Plc. said this is the first autonomous delivery robot of its kind in Thailand and the partnership will make True advantaged as the market pioneer of delivery robot.

“We have seen new opportunities for service robots in Thailand, to serve as hotel hospitality for in-room delivery and high-end condominium buildings for products delivery. The robot can replace the work of three persons over the course of 24 hours.

The robots can also serve for delivery services and logistics delivery for manufacturing plants, and medicine delivery in hospitals.

Teerapon Tanomsakyut, chief of innovation and sustainability of True,  said it’s expected that over next few years, Thailand will use more robots, especially the service robots to take care senior citizen.

Mr Teerapon said the company has invested in robotics R&D over the past three years to study the new patterns of robots and also develops the robotic kits for education sector.

True developed Cofe, the service robot serving coffee in True Coffee shops and it will introduce an in-house brand for robots in 2019.

For Relay, True opens for Thai developers to create new user interfaces and applications to serve Thai customers.

Mr Songtham added True plans to offer Relay Robots for rent, with a monthly charge between 30,000-100,000 baht, depending on configurations. The sales price will be around 1 million baht per unit. The company aims to sell 50 robots in next three years.

“Robots will become a new revenue source for IoT businesses,” he said. True’s IoT business is expected to tally 1 billion baht in revenue this year from 10 IoT corporate solutions such as smart security, smart homes and smart transport.

The service robots are a small market in Thailand but are expected to gain momentum in the next three years.

Matthew Festo, senior director at Savioke, said Robotics is a billion-dollar global market, and Thailand has high potential because of its positioning as a medical hub and leading hospitality sector.

Savioke is an autonomous delivery robot producer established in 2013 that has received Series B funding. Mr Festo said over 100 Relay Robots have been used globally, with over 350,000 deliveries made in US, Japan and Singapore and will expand to Australia by end of this year.

Many countries are joining the global US$ billion robot market, but Savioke has artificial intelligence that can optimise routes and it is also working with elevator makers to develop elevators commanded by robots, with WiFi connectivity and SIM-based mobile networks.