September 28 - 29, 2020
Las Vegas, NV
Savioke's Service Robots Are Changing How the Hotel Industry Thinks about Hospitality
Brought to you by WBR Insights
The robots are rising.
If that phrase conjures up images of dystopian futures, fear not. These autonomous assistants are here to help. We, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.
The slow creep of automation has been developing for decades now. From the early manufacturing robots of the late 90s to the drones and intelligent driving machines we see in the world today, the technology has come a long way in a relatively short period of time.
If films, books, and TV shows are any indicator, humankind has been dreaming about robots waiting on their every need for many years. Now, that time has finally arrived.
One tech company making waves in this field is San Jose-based tech startup Savioke. The innovative Californian company has been piloting its Relay robot technology over the last three years, and now has more than 70 units installed in hotels around the world.
The Relay product was initially designed to be a robot concierge. Resembling a particularly stylish dustbin on wheels, Relay can be loaded up with snacks, room service orders, and other small items and then deliver them to guest rooms. The Relay robot can even use the elevators and interact with guests.
"Standing at just a few feet in height, Relay is an ergonomically and aesthetically sound service robot, able to effortlessly glide along various surfaces and navigate all kinds of spaces, as well as being able to use elevators and make its way through crowds of people in busy hotel lobbies, corridors, or dining areas," said the company in a press release. "Safely and smartly getting to its destinations in a timely fashion, Relay can deliver all kinds of products to hotel guests, who are always thrilled to open the door and see a little robot waiting to greet them."
The Relay robot is evolving (by design, not through natural selection - just in case that sent you into a panic), and Savioke is adding more features to make the device so much more than a simple bellhop.
The Relay robot navigates using a pre-generated map, so suffers no loss of function should it lose Wi-Fi or LTE reception.
However, the diminutive droid is now able to patrol hotel environments and search for Wi-Fi dead zones and mobile signal blackspots. When it finds one, it can file a report directly to the hotel's IT department, so human engineers can go to work adding more boosters or signal relays. This helps every guest stay online, no matter what corner of the resort they find themselves in.
Some hotels are even placing the robot in the lobby and allowing guests to interact with it directly upon arrival. They can request extra towels or any similar complimentary items and have them brought up to the room ready for their arrival. Relay can also be programmed to perform specific functions, such as delivering a bottle of champagne to a guest's room on special occasions such as an anniversary or birthday.
"Relay is taking over the monotonous, time-consuming task of delivery and providing staff more time to focus on the guests," said Savioke's Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Lauren Schechtman. "We are now seeing larger hotels, like those found in Las Vegas, deploying multiple robots. More hotels are generating revenue from the robot by charging a delivery fee for items they never would have delivered before, like coffee from the lobby cafe or snacks from the market."
With data being such a powerful tool these days, the possibilities to personalize the guest experience using robots such as Savioke's Relay product are endless.
While true artificial intelligence may be a way off yet, by synchronizing sophisticated guest profiles with robots, they can perform ever more personal tasks - such as the aforementioned birthday/anniversary gifts - and create truly memorable and futuristic guest experiences.
"The reaction has been really positive," said Vdara Hotel & Spa General Manager, Mary Giuliano. "Of course, the convenience of [the Relay robots] has been appreciated, but our guests also enjoy the novelty of having these robot dogs delivering snacks and sundries directly to their room."
As the technology becomes ever more sophisticated, the number and diversity of the functions these robots can perform will grow, and the resultant impact on guest satisfaction will increase in kind.
Service robots are set to be a hot topic at Future Guest Experiences 2019, taking place this September at the Henderson, NV.
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