The idea of robots performing many of the tasks now assigned to hotel staff members may have once seemed like science fiction. This trend is now rapidly becoming reality for the hospitality industry. The hotel industry is a leading robotics innovator and is in fact far ahead of many other industries in this regard. A number of unique and groundbreaking applications of robotic technology have been made at hotels around the world, including an all-robotic staffed hotel in Japan.
Driving this innovation is a variety of factors which are now turning favorable for the widespread adoption of this technology by hotels. The costs associated with investing in robot technology have significantly lowered. It is now less costly to deploy robots to perform certain menial tasks compared to employing humans. The myth of the technology being a jobs killer is invalidated by the experiences of hotels where the technology is in use. The increase in business resulting from the deployment of efficient service robots, leads to the hiring of staff in other positions and the re-training of those displaced by the technology. This gives hotels the opportunity to provide their guests a greater degree of personalized service in alternative, non-traditional ways.
The concept of automation and robots providing a high level of service is becoming increasingly acceptable to the traveling public as well. The public has harbored unfounded fears and distrust of robots in the past, however opinions are beginning to change. Wherever people are exposed to robotic technology and see for themselves it’s beneficial and benign nature, their thinking is transformed. The technology will continue to prove itself valuable to the traveling public over time. Also, as the technology has progressed, the safe use of robots is now ensured. Designers are now creating robots that are specialized for human interaction. The hospitality industry is clearly a leader in this field.
Another advantage of deploying a team of customer service robots is the invaluable customer data that they can collect. As robots preform their services they provide hoteliers with a dual function. The robot stores valuable guest interaction data in the cloud including purchase requests, and levels of customer satisfaction. This makes every hotel robot a mobile big data collection point for hoteliers to leverage further.
In part two we will look at the many innovative ways in which hoteliers are implementing robotics technology.