In the hotel industry, sometimes it feels like the future is now. Why? Many of the leading hotel brands have started using robots to improve the guest experience. In fact, a few have been testing it for some time. And that has led to the dawn of the robot bellman, the robot butler, and the robot hotel concierge.
Why are hotels using robots?
All hoteliers want to leave their guest with a positive memory. Even better if that guest comes back or shares their experience with others. How can robots help with this?
To put it simply, hotel robots provide a competitive edge over the competition.
Robots can free up the time of human staff and help personalize a guest’s stay. In fact, their use is almost limitless — with just imagination and cost being limiting factors.
Here are the top hotels using robots today
Hilton’s concierge robot
In 2016, Hilton and IBM partnered to create Connie, the resident robot at the McLean hotel in Virginia branch. Connie (named after Hilton’s founder, Conrad) is a concierge. The robot tells guests about nearby attractions, places to eat, and hotel information. Powered by IBM’s Watson super-computer AI, Connie is about as personable as a robot can get.
Aloft’s butler robot
In 2014, Aloft Hotels became the first hotel brand to use robot technology, introducing A.L.O — robotic butler or Botlr — in its Cupertino location. The robot can travel the entire hotel to make deliveries. Its primary purpose was to surprise guest with room delivery.
Crowne Plaza’s delivery robot
Another early adopter of robot tech was the Crowne Plaza at its San Jose Silicon Valley location. The robot, called Dash, is all about delivering snacks, toiletries, and other hotel amenities. When called, Dash makes its way through the hotel, using a unique Wi-Fi connection. And to the surprise of many a guest, it then makes a phone call to announce its arrival. It can even monitor its own power usage and return to its charging point when needed.
Henn na Hotel‘s front desk robots
Quirky and futuristic: That’s how to best describe the Henn na Hotel, in the town of Sasebo, near Nagasaki, Japan. In this hotel, the robots lead the way. When you enter, a robot velociraptor greets you at the front desk. It then asks you to check-in on a touchscreen. When you get to your room, you’ll unlock the door with face recognition. A robot in the room (named Churi San) controls the heating and lighting, tells you the weather, and more.
Yotel Hotels‘ luggage-carrying robot
Yotel’s hotel robots aren’t like their competitors. The robot in its New York hotel — fondly called Yobot — automatically collects and elvers guests’ luggage. Yobot can handle around 300-items of luggage a day. In doing so, it lets guests quickly check-in, and have as limited contact with others as they desire. However, the real purpose of this tech is to free up staff for other duties — saving time and money.
Hotel EMC2’s service robot
The Hotel EMC2 in Chicago employs two robotic staff members, Cleo and Leo. Dressed to impress (with name tags and coattails) at around 3 feet tall, they’ve caused quite a stir. Cleo and Leo fulfill guests’ needs by delivering whatever they need: an extra towel, a snack, a toothbrush. All in all, they’re a stand-in for when their human counterparts are not available.
Did we leave any hotel brands off the list who are using robot technology? Let us know in the comments or join us on Facebook!
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