Introducing JiLL – A humanoid robot receptionist at JLL's newest office

The global property services firm is piloting the use of robotics in the workplace

October 05, 2016

​​​​Global property services firm, JLL has taken another pioneering step in workplace strategy by starting a pilot at its newest Sydney office using a humanoid robot in the role of receptionist / concierge.

JiLL – a 57 cm tall NAO robot - joins the JLL team as the firm’s corporate front of house admin team for its newest office at 50 Carrington Street.  

Working as part of a fully automated visitor management solution, JiLL will greet and support staff, visitors and couriers with a range of front of house tasks, including check-in for meetings, providing directions, contacting hosts and recording and reporting technology or building maintenance issues.

Chris Hunt, JLL’s Australasian Head of Integrated Facilities Management (IFM) said the pilot of robotics has started with the IFM team in Australia, which will predominantly occupy the new 50 Carrington Street office in Sydney.

“As part of JLL IFM’s innovation programme, we are exploring a range of futuristic service delivery models, including process automation and robotics.  The addition of JiLL to our Carrington Street office will enable our technology innovation team to monitor how clients and visitors respond to robots and the current levels of technology.  This will help us to continue to develop and improve our client service solutions.

“We are assessing the opportunities for artificial intelligence in the workplace. We see a future for robots in the workplace and organisations will need to understand what robots can offer for the future workplace and they will need a strategy to integrate humans and robots.  We are taking our first step in this journey by JiLL joining the JLL team.

“This is a trend that is developing fast and is something our clients will need to contend with.  We wanted to trial it first, starting small but thinking big and then be able to advise on how best to implement a robotics strategy into the management of building facilities,” said Mr Hunt.

Introducing ‘JiLL’:

Type: NAO
Model: V5/H25
Country of origin: France / Japan

JiLL’s current duties:

  • Assisting visitors with appointments
  • Providing directions to Washrooms
  • Supporting deliveries and collections
  • Assisting with forgotten access passes
  • Recording and reporting building related faults
  • Recording and reporting IT faults
  • Weight/height:  5.4kg / 574mm

Phil Clark, JLL’s Head of Business Transformation, IFM said, “We expect staff and visitors will embrace this type of artificial intelligence. 

“JiLL will work as part of the WorkSmart Admin Team but will be the sole ‘front of house’ face at 50 Carrington Street. This allows JiLL’s human colleagues to support the business operations and to focus on more tactical activity. JiLL works in conjunction with a tablet based visitor management system. She has inbuilt facial recognition software to enable her to respond differently to team members than to external visitors.

“This is really about automating those tasks such as greeting guests, providing directions, and assisting staff with administrative tasks in the workplace. JiLL’s duties will continue to grow over the coming months.

“Over the next 10-20 years, we will continue to see a range of current job functions being fulfilled by robots and other automated machines.  We expect to see a range of functions in the customer service industry become automated in this timeframe.  This will result in providing opportunities for future workers to upskill and concentrate their efforts on the work that will produce the biggest benefits for business performance,” said Mr Clark.

JLL has a history of innovation, being an early adopter in workplace strategy by implementing its own proprietary form of Activity Based Working, called WorkSmart. This was developed in-house by JLL’s Corporate Solutions division in Singapore and formally piloted and adopted in Sydney over 3,700 square metres of office space in 2012.  JLL has extended WorkSmart to its other Australian offices. 

50 Carrington Street is JLL’s newest office in Australia, predominantly accommodating its IFM team in Sydney. The 800sqm WorkSmart office comprises 83 workstations, meeting and quiet rooms, a range of collaboration spaces and a suite of technology tools to enhance the productivity of the IFM Team.  JLL also has offices in NSW at North Sydney, Parramatta and Mascot