Bay Area hotels address staff shortage with robots

3 mins read

The pandemic-affected staffing in hotels in Silicon Valley finds rescue through robots – giving an additional pleasure to customers, ABC7 reported.

Like restaurants, accommodation establishments are facing a challenge in giving attentive service to guests as staff cannot cover all.

Radisson Sunnyvale has found a solution to the problem which will allow guests to get the drinks they want without leaving their rooms. The task was then handled by an employee from the front desk, but now, a robot engineered by Savioke in Campbell can take over.

“They’re in this kind of crunch mode where the higher paid staff are filling in for things that frankly robots can do,” Savioke CEO Steve Cousins said.

For the task to be delivered successfully, the robot only needs to be trained to go around hallways and hotel lobby. It can use an elevator, and even identify the floor it is going to, alone.

But even for humans, there are corridors in the hotel that can be hard to navigate.

The robots are therefore trained not to bump into obstacles and persons along their way.

If it comes across a human that also doubts which place to go, the robot appears to be dancing and spinning around, looking for a safe way to navigate.

There is also no need to worry when the robot gets around the crowd as it avoids contact with humans, like what was shown in a video captured at a packed Las Vegas hotel lobby.

It also tells the guest once it arrives in the room, using the recording saying: “Our robot is waiting outside your door to pick it up.”

Then, the compartment door of the robot opens and offers the soft drink being asked by the customer.

“You don’t have to tip it. You know, there’s no obligation, there’s no handout. And you don’t even have to get dressed for it,” Cousins said.

In several instances, the robot cut the room service delivery time to five minutes from then 30, as it also lowers anxiety of the pandemic.

“There are guests that like the fact that they can have items delivered and not have that contact with a human being,” Alex Martinez, Radisson Sunnyvale general manager, said. “It’s more of an enhanced experience than it is replacing someone.”