Autonomous robots in hotels!

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Finally, after the rainy start, we can enjoy the sun. Once you’re on vacation, you shall get to know the relationship between the hospitality industry and robotics. In our blog post, we present renowned hotels that are the first to use autonomous robots. But remember, the goal is not to replace the human staff, but to increase the satisfaction of the guests.

Autonomous Pepper robot
Pepper robot is serving at a hotel

Hotel 4.0 and autonomous robots

Nowadays, the technological development, the Industry 4.0 or, more precisely the 4th industrial revolution, will also bring significant changes in the catering industry. As part of digitalisation, digital transformation robots will also appear here. Of course, there is no need to fear that these robots will take away the work of the hotel staff. In certain repetitive or monotonous jobs, robots can free up the workforce so that they can use their strengths and talents in more creative jobs.

A great advantage of using robots is the increase in customer experience and service quality.

Unfortunately, there are only a few Hungarian examples of the use of robots in the catering industry. That is why we are presenting foreign examples. First, have a look at a familiar robot: Pepper’s little brother.

Connie, or Nao robot at the Hilton

Nao Robot, Pepper’s little brother, is a kind of robotic porter at a Hilton hotel in Virginia. Connie was baptized after the founder. Hotel chain started the robotics project with the help of the IBM. Their aim with the robot is reducing guests’ “sore spots” such as long queues and long waiting times.

Autonomous robots 1: Nao Robot
Autonomous Nao robot at the Hilton Hotel. Picture by USA Today

Nao can speak, too. It walks on two legs and is much smaller than Pepper. It also gives guests useful tips, such as what to visit in the city, where to go for dinner or where the finest wine is served.

Nao’s and Pepper’s biggest advantage is communication, answering frequently asked questions. And now, have a look at a robot that autonomously delivers different things to guests.

Autonomous butler robot at the Aloft Hotel

In 2014, Starwood, started using two robotic colleagues. Actually, robotic butlers named “Botlr” (from the word butler). The robot is much less human than Pepper. On the other hand, it is able to bring certain things (e.g. a bottle of champagne with glasses) into the room of the guest. All the staff has to do is to put the requested things on the robot.

Autonomous robots 2: Botlr Robot
Botlr robot. Picture by TechCrunch

Botlr has a lot of sensors that allow the little robot to navigate the hotel easily. It can communicate with the hotel and the elevator via Wi-Fi.

Botlr robot was built by Savioke, an American tech company. They have also developed many other transport robots that are specifically designed for working autonomously among humans. This is worth to emphasize because, for example, in the industrial field, most autonomous robots work isolated from the human workforce.

Savioke has already developed a robot butler for another hotel. Well, what about them?

A new colleague at the Crowne Plaza Hotel is not asking for gratuity

Moreover, the Crowne Plaza Hotel discovered the potential of autonomous robots very quickly. No wonder, as this hotel is located in Silicon Valley. Dash robot is a butler like Botlr. Although it is unable to answer questions, it is able to perform room service autonomously. Dash is developed by Savioke, too.

By the way, the development was partly inspired by Star Wars R2-D2.

Even more exciting details of the development will be revealed if you watch the attached video from ABC News!

the robot butlers, refresh your knowledge about the Pepper robot! Obviously,
the question arises in the reader whether Pepper can also be employed in a
hotel. And the answer is: Yes. Now see how!

Robby Pepper: Italy’s first robot porter

Of course, Pepper robot that we also
develop and distribute, is capable of performing hotel tasks. The robot is
basically a French product, sold by the multinational Softbank Robotics to
developers all around the world.

Robby Pepper is employed at Lake
Garda in Italy and is able to answer questions of the guests in German, English
and Italian. The purpose of using the robot is reducing the pressure on hotel
staff. The robot instead of the staff answers frequently asked questions.

We shot a film with our Pepper about how to apply it in hotel environment. From mid-August, the finished film will be to be available on Netlife Robotics’ social media. We also put together a short “Making of” about filming, as it’s not everyday that a real robot is the main actor of a film.

In our blog post, we presented 4 hotels that were the firsts to start using robots. As you can see the current industrial developments, digital technologies, robots will also affect hospitality. They change workflows and result in a much greater efficiency and a customer experience.

Sources: USA Today; Social Tables; Tech Crunch; ABC News; Denver Post