ST Engineering logo

ST Engineering Develops Fleet Management Software for Robots as a Service on AWS


Global technology and engineering group ST Engineering uses artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) to power its Robotic Solutions for Public Safety and Security, which provides autonomous security robot solutions to businesses across several industries. To support its robots-as-a-service business offerings, the company wanted to migrate its infrastructure to the cloud so that it could achieve scalability and develop a cloud-based fleet management software (FMS), a flexible unified control system for its robotic fleets.

In 2021, ST Engineering turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to run its robotic FMS on the cloud, and it began exploring other solutions that would facilitate data security, ML, and artificial intelligence. A few months later, the company adopted several AWS services, such as AWS IoT Greengrass, an open-source edge runtime and cloud service for building, deploying, and managing device software. Since then, the technology group has built software that equips its robots to act locally on the data that they generate, run predictions based on ML models, recognize and classify different objects using thermal image night scenes, and filter and aggregate device data rapidly. By working in the cloud, ST Engineering can develop new capabilities for its robots and connect them to new and existing operations, helping the company to scale and innovate more quickly.

Two young handsome engineers working on electronics components

Amazon Kinesis Video Streams is very straightforward and easy to use.”

Yoke Kong
Principal Engineer of the Solution Team, ST Engineering

Exploring Cloud Solutions to Achieve Scalability

ST Engineering provides a wide range of services that support government agencies and businesses in the aerospace, defense, marine, electronics, and public security sectors. The company has developed different classes of robots to accomplish many tasks, such as taking inventory at industrial sites or assisting with enforcement of personal protective equipment in medical facilities. Businesses that use its Robotic Solutions for Public Safety and Security can program the robots to autonomously patrol within certain geographical boundaries and can manage their settings remotely. “We desire to create a cloud-based FMS that can extend our robots-as-a-service business model to operate, monitor, and provide timely maintenance to our robot fleets on the ground here and beyond,” says David Yeo, head of solutions and business development at ST Engineering.

Prior to migrating to the cloud, ST Engineering built on-premises servers to support its robotic fleet for each deployment ground. For every server the company purchased, it could support a limited number of robots. However, the company faced challenges in efficiently scaling to meet increases in demand, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Sometimes it would take up to 2 months before we could set up more servers to meet the demand of our customers due to parts shortages and shipment delays,” says Yoke Kong, principal engineer of the solution team at ST Engineering. “We decided to migrate to the cloud, which we view as a long-term solution.” ST Engineering also started working alongside CloudCover, an AWS Partner, to accelerate the development of its applications and software.

Running a Proof of Concept and Enhancing Its Robots’ Capabilities

In February 2021, ST Engineering sought support from the AWS Envision Engineering team in developing a proof of concept that would help it determine which AWS services to use for its robotic cloud-based FMS. The company completed the proof of concept in June 2021 and adopted AWS IoT Greengrass, providing its robotic fleets with connectivity to the cloud. With this connectivity, its robots can collect and analyze data closer to where that data is generated, react autonomously to local events, and communicate securely with other devices on the local network. “We can readily add different robots to our cloud-based FMS,” says Yoke Kong. “We just need their APIs, and we can operate and control those robots remotely.”

Moreover, ST Engineering can provide a web interface for its customers to track important data collected from the robots, such as video footage, robot locations, robot status, battery levels, and report creation. To deliver data to its customers, ST Engineering uses Amazon CloudFront, a content delivery network service built for high performance, security, and developer convenience.

ST Engineering replaced its on-premises infrastructure with AWS Lambda, a serverless, event-driven compute service that lets developers run code for virtually any type of application or backend service without provisioning or managing servers. Now, the company can rapidly scale to manage as many robots as it wants without investing in additional hardware or going onsite to set them up. With more flexibility than before, ST Engineering can take advantage of the breadth of AWS services to accelerate development and delivery of new features. “Our approach is not only to build a scalable environment but also to future-proof application integration, video streaming, perform analytics, and other features,” says Desmond Han, head of public sector at CloudCover.

In working toward enhancing its robots’ functionalities, ST Engineering uses Amazon Rekognition, which offers pretrained and customizable computer vision capabilities to extract information and insights from images and videos. Using Amazon Rekognition, the company’s security robots can use object recognition technology to identify and alert users for potential matches on a be-on-the-lookout list. Additionally, ST Engineering uses AWS Organizations, which helps businesses centrally manage and govern their environments as they grow and scale their AWS resources. Using this service, ST Engineering was able achieve data segmentation, which helps it uphold the privacy of its customers.

The company has also adopted Amazon Kinesis Video Streams, which makes it easy to securely stream video from connected devices to AWS for analytics, ML, playback, and other processing. Using Amazon Kinesis Video Streams, the company can stream surveillance footage from its robots to its customers while supporting a virtually unlimited number of simultaneous streams. “Amazon Kinesis Video Streams is very straightforward and easy to use,” says Yoke Kong. “Our customers need to have reliable video streaming, and they’re able to have a 360-degree view of their robots’ surroundings.”

Piloting Its Cloud FMS and Supporting Global Expansion

ST Engineering will pilot and roll out its new cloud-based FMS to customers in March 2022. It also plans to build and deploy over 100 more robots and expand into different sectors and regions. “We plan to deploy disinfecting robots and casualty evacuation robots as well as smart factory robots,” says Yoke Kong. “With greater scalability and our cloud-based FMS solution, we have alleviated the challenges that we faced while bringing value to our existing and new customers.”

About ST Engineering

ST Engineering is a global technology, defense, and engineering group that serves customers in more than 100 countries. It uses technology to improve lives and solve real-world problems across the aerospace, smart city, defense, and public security sectors.

Benefits of AWS

  • Supports a virtually unlimited amount of simultaneous live video streams
  • Achieved a scalable infrastructure that supports its robotic fleets
  • Removed the need to provision and maintain on-premises servers
  • Accomplished data segmentation, increasing data security
  • Provides robotic fleets with connectivity to the cloud
  • Developed a cloud-based robotic FMS solution
  • Implemented ML and AI features, including object recognition

AWS Services Used

Amazon IoT Greengrass

AWS IoT Greengrass is an open-source edge runtime and cloud service for building, deploying, and managing device software.

Learn more »

Amazon Kinesis Video Streams

Amazon Kinesis Video Streams makes it easy to securely stream video from connected devices to AWS for analytics, machine learning (ML), playback, and other processing. Kinesis Video Streams automatically provisions and elastically scales all the infrastructure needed to ingest streaming video data from millions of devices.

Learn more »

Amazon Rekognition

Automate your image and video analysis with machine learning. Amazon Rekognition offers pre-trained and customizable computer vision (CV) capabilities to extract information and insights from your images and videos.

Learn more »

Amazon CloudFront

Securely deliver content with low latency and high transfer speeds. Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) service built for high performance, security, and developer convenience.

Learn more »

More Construction & Real Estate Customer Stories

no items found 


Get Started

Organizations of all sizes across all industries are transforming their businesses and delivering on their missions every day using AWS. Contact our experts and start your own AWS journey today.