Automated butlers taking care of room service, this affirmation, that in times gone by would have sounded just too futuristic, is already a reality. Robotics has arrived at accommodation establishments, and the route it will take through the hotel sector is already being speculated.
The publication Hotel Speak, echoes a study by hotel management software research group, Software Advice that discovered 31% of those interviewed felt that the idea of permanently incorporating these original supervisors into hotel establishments was “very exciting”.
The Aloft Hotel, located in Cupertino, California, has been a pioneer in this aspect and has incorporated Botlr, a robot butler into their team. As Silicon Week explains, it comes prepared with a 7 inch tablet, Wi-Fi and a 4G connection that allows guests to interact with the hotel staff, it can even call the lift.
The robot weighs 45 kilos and possesses the ability to transport objects of up to 900 grams, meaning clients can order materials such as the new amenities for their bathroom, if these have run out. Botlr makes a phone call to the room when it is ready and waiting outside, and instead of a tip all it asks is that the user tweets #meetbotlr.
From a general perspective, the robotics field has evolved noticeably in the last decade. Specially regarding empathy with humans, which means the perception many had of these androids being cold machines, is changing.
This is the opinion of Masoyoshi Son, general manager of Softbank, who have just released a robot. “For the first time in human history, we are giving a robot a heart and emotions. Because robots are no longer what they used to be and have become much more human” he says.
The reasons behind the robotic boom are more than just what companies wish to do with them. The fact that the population is aging all the time and needs more assistance, added to the falling birth rate, makes some countries, such as Japan; see the idea of using robots for home assistance a lot more attractive.
Tools such as IBM’s popular Watson were some years ago just material for creative and imaginative writers, today though, they are tools companies use all the time.
“In recent years, I’ve felt that the most important function of a robot would be a pleasant and emotional companion that would improve our daily life, bringing happiness, constantly surprising us and making us grow” points out Bruno Maisonnier, founder and president of Aldebaran (a company that produces robots). “An emotional robot will create a new dimension in our lives and our way of interacting with technology”.
And if it is possible to have more intelligent technology and consumers get more used to dealing with it, why not use it to solve the most common of problems, those that generate more stress for company client relations?
The robot is the new ally of companies who want (or are trying) to offer an efficient and effective client care. Customer care robots are extremely varied and becoming more commonplace all the time.