It takes a lot of work to move people—and the team at Otis Elevator Company knows just how much. The company builds, installs, and operates stairs and escalators. Users who encounter their devices every day may take them for granted, but complex Otis machinery has been transforming the world since the company got its start nearly 175 years ago.
The Connecticut-based company takes its name from Elisha Otis, who invented the elevator safety brake. Without his work, the modern high rise—and the modern city—never would have been possible.
That set the tone for the inventions Otis employees have continued to create. Over the years, company engineers developed new methods, designs, and technologies that have led to automatic elevators, steel belts, and double-deck units.
A strong legal team protects the company as researchers and engineers pursue new breakthroughs. Nelson DaCunha, senior counsel for IP, completed an undergraduate program in computer science and an MBA in IT management before finishing law school. That training helps him manage registration, clearance, and enforcement activities for the company’s global trademark portfolio.
The IP team works with employees in twenty-six engineering centers and eleven test towers around the world. Together, they are continuing to build upon a strong reputation and add to a growing legacy.
With elevators and products, there is only one direction to go as new technologies emerge: up. “I envision a future where I simply walk up to a building, it recognizes who I am from biometrics, it knows that I work on the thirtieth floor, and it points me to the specific elevator car automatically,” executive vice president and chief digital officer Neil Green says on the company website.
Products like the Compass 360 destination management system are a step toward making that vision a reality. Compass 360 uses SmartGrouping technology to reduce waiting and travel times. It interfaces with building security systems and features responsive touch screens with RFID and Bluetooth optionality for card readers. Teams at Otis can even program Compass 360 units to meet specific requirements like VIP Mode, which gives certain passengers an express ride to their destination.
With 70,000 employees, $14.3 billion in net sales, and 2.1 million customers units worldwide, Otis is at the forefront of digital technology. Leading corporations, top municipalities, and others turn to the organization for critical projects like the Panama Metro, where it supplied hundreds of escalators and elevators that take passengers to train platforms in Central America’s first metro system.
Now the iconic company is getting into something new: service robots. Leaders have announced Otis Integrated Dispatch, a cloud-based API solution that allows clients to integrate service robots and elevators. While limited mobility once prevented service robots from being widely adopted, they can now take the elevator. Deployed autonomous assistants communicate with Otis elevators over an encrypted system and select a door that opens and closes in sync with the robot’s travel speed. The robot then enters an elevator to move through a hospital, hotel, business, or warehouse to make a delivery.
It’s just one of many ways Otis is pushing the limits of the industry. The company is thinking about urban air mobility, taking steps to address airflow and inclusive mobility, and leveraging robotics to create the best passenger experience possible. People and cities are changing. As they do, Otis remains dedicated to changing the way people move.