Japan builds robots to service data centers

(ORDO NEWS) — The Japanese company NTT Communications has begun preparing robots that can take on some of the tasks of servicing data centers.

In the future, the operator allows the appearance of sites completely devoid of people. NTT notes that maintaining a data center is a costly task, with a significant portion of the cost coming from paying staff.

The company expects that the introduction of robots as the number of data centers grows will improve the efficiency and safety of customer service and reduce the cost of operating facilities.

In addition, two years ago, the global COVID-19 pandemic showed how much more convenient it would be to have robots that cannot get infected – neither complex disinfection nor other precautions are needed at such sites.

The NTT robot (SEED-R7 by THK) is a torso on wheels with two arms, each with three fingers. So far, the model cannot cope with complex work, for example, servicing cables in server rooms.

So far, the robot is being used as a receptionist. It has a face recognition system to identify pre-registered visitors, and it stores a floor plan with pre-laid routes in memory, allowing you to accompany those who come to their destination.

The robot can also detect food quality and cleaning problems, but NTT did not share details. But it is known that the novelty, if desired, can be controlled remotely.

In the future, the company intends to create systems capable of making independent decisions on a number of issues. The ultimate goal is to completely eliminate the need for regular staff, but the operator says this will require a significant technological leap.

Other companies are gradually trying to equip data centers with robots. So, back in 2020, Switch announced the development of Sentry robots for patrolling and protecting peripheral data centers, which the company intended to sell to other data center operators.

And Novva suggested using modified Spot robot dogs from Boston Dynamics for the same purpose. Somewhat more practical are Alibaba robotic arms that can replace storage drives, or TMGcore systems to replace entire servers.

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