APAC operator Digital Edge is conducting data center robot trials in the Philippines.

In an op-ed on DCD this week, the company said it was trialing a prototype robot in its Narra 1 data center in Manila.

Nora Close Up
– Digital Edge

“Affectionately known by the team as ‘Nora,’ it uses facial recognition to authenticate visitors and recognizes spoken commands to guide visitors through secure areas to their racks,” said John Yung, senior vice president of technology and innovation at Digital Edge.

Yung said using robots to register and escort customers can free up on-site staff for more complicated tasks.

DCD has reached out for more details about the trial.

The machine is an armless wheeled unit with a touch screen for a ‘face.’

The system appears to be a Temi 3: A three-foot-tall, 12kg ‘autonomous personal AI assistant robot’ equipped with multiple cameras, LiDAR, microphones, and speakers. Able to travel up to a meter per second, the machine offers up to eight hours of operation per charge and autonomous charging via a docking station.

Based in New York, robotics startup Temi was founded in 2015.

First announced in December 2021 as a joint venture between Digital Edge and Threadborne Group, the Narra 1 data center entered service earlier this year. The facility offers capacity for 2,200 cabinets and 10MW.

Update: Digital Edge has confirmed it is working with Temi.

A company spokesperson told DCD: "We commenced our robotics trial with the installation of the first robot at our NARRA1 facility in Manila in February 2023. The robot is now well embedded in the daily operations of the facility and we are also about to extend the program by deploying an updated version of the robot to our new EDGE2 data center in Jakarta, which opens in Q1 2024."

" There are multiple metrics we can use to measure the success of this program, including time and costs saved on routine tasks, the reduction of human error, improved operational performance, and increased customer satisfaction."

Original article resumes: A number of data center operators are exploring the use of robotics in data centers to automate repetitive tasks.

Digital Realty, Novva, Oracle, Kio, and Scala have all tested robotic dogs for surveillance and collecting sensor data within facilities.

NTT Data has rolled out a simple torso-on-wheels robot equipped with arms and basic claw at 15 data centers that can test humidity, thermal issues, and other data points, alongside performing rudimentary tasks. In an apparently separate effort, NTT Comms is also working on a data center robot.

Last year, Fujitsu said it planned to trial a private 5G network at a data center to enable automatic equipment inspection via robot.

Huawei, Alibaba, and Naver are also known to be deploying robots within their facilities.

In 2020, Switch said that it was entering the robotics market with special Sentry Robots, saying at the time it would become a separate business line. However, the company quietly killed the project a year later.

Microsoft is creating a team dedicated to data center robotics and automation.