The robotics revolution is here.
The modern concept of the robot was shaped with the rise of the industrial age, as well as science fiction books published back in the 1800-s.
Half a century later, authors like Jules Verne and Czech Karel Čapek added more nuances to robot fantasies.
But how to define robots in the modern world?
Defining a robot
To put it simply, it`s a machine that can perform tasks automatically.
When categorizing robots, researchers1 make a distinction between devices that make decisions with or without human input. For instance, they distinguish between:
- Quasi-autonomous robots – decisions are based on programming or remote human operator(for example, a dishwasher or a drone controlled with a joystick).
- Autonomous robots – robots that exhibit agency (for instance, AI-powered robots).
Robots in the hotel industry
Robots have left science fiction books. They`re now all very real in the hospitality sector.
There`s no shortage of use cases – from hotel lobby robots in Japan to Hilton Hotels` concierges robots. Let`s go through some examples of robots in the hospitality sector:
1.Dinosaur robots in Japan
Imagine being greeted by a dinosaur robot? The Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo, Nagasaki is introducing robotic dinosaurs and humanoid lobby staff that are helping guest check-in.
2.Hilton`s robot – Connie
Connie is a robot concierge that`s powered by IBM`s Watson platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI). Connie is smart enough to answer basic questions like “Where`s the airport?” and “Where`s the nearest Chinese restaurant?”.
3. Room service delivery robot in Singapore
The M Social millennial-targeted hotel has implemented a room-service robot named Aura. The robot can ride the lift and find the way to guests` rooms, bringing them clean towels, bottled water, and shampoo. Check it out in a video published by CNBC:
4. Robots serving dishes in China
Alibaba`s FlyZoo Future Hotel located in Hangzhou, China is an ultra-modern boutique using robotics and other innovative technologies.
From facial recognition technology and voice-enabled devices to robots serving dishes in the restaurant, it`s a highly technological guest experience.
5. Robot Assistants for Hotels
More and more hotels and airports are benefiting from the so-called “robotic assistants” that can carry out tasks like providing information in different languages, handing room keys and even dancing.
What does the future hold?
It remains to be seen whether robots will replace humans in the hospitality sector and at what cost.
Do you think it`s a real possibility in the near future? Share your opinion and experiences with robots in the comments down below.
1 Murphy, J & Hofacker, Charles & Gretzel, Ulrike. (2017).Dawning of the age of robots in hospitality and tourism: Challenges for teaching and research. 15. 104-111.