The hospitality industry is constantly evolving and adapting to the changing needs of its customers. And one change that is coming rapidly is the way we interact with guests.
Hotel robots have created a new way of interactions. They allow for a more cost-effective experience, which resonates in today’s complex environment where hoteliers are facing labor shortages. But what are the common robots used in hotels today? In this article, we'll look at some of the trending robots in the hospitality industry.
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What Is Robotics in the Hospitality Industry?
Robotics is the science and engineering of autonomous machines that can behave in intelligent ways. In a broader context, it ranges from mechanical devices such as robots, computer systems, autonomous software agents, and artificial intelligence systems, including computer vision.
But when we talk about the hospitality industry context, it is often concentrated on the system of machines that can make various tasks easier and quicker for hotels. Robots in hotels have centered on automating tasks that would otherwise be difficult or time-consuming for humans to do.
And it is gaining traction. In fact, the hospitality robots market is expected to grow from $295.5 million in 2020 to reach $3083 by 2030.
Let’s have a look at some of the ways robots are automating tasks in hotels.
The Types of Robots Used in the Hospitality Industry
A new wave of robots is now being introduced in the hospitality industry - and they are quickly gaining momentum.
Hotel robots can be categorized into four major categories: chatbots, robotic service bots, housekeeping robots, and voice assistant robots. Let's take a deeper look into the common types of robots used in hotels.
1. AI-Powered Hotel Chatbots
Chatbot technology is revolutionizing the hospitality industry by relieving staff of mundane, repetitive, and time-consuming questions.
Hotel chatbots are artificial intelligence programs that can have a conversation (either text- or voice-based communication) with guests. The hotel chatbots are nowadays intelligent and capable of natural language processing. In fact, they can understand synonyms and complex language and respond appropriately (.. and natural) to the conversation.
They can also be programmed to respond to the questions a hotel wants them to answer and redirect complicated conversations to actual employees whenever needed.
Hotel Chatbot are used in a wide range of situations. For example:
Answer frequently asked questions to guests.
Help guests in their booking purchases.
Order room service for guests.
2. Robotic Room Service Delivery
Robotic room service delivery has been a long-awaited development that makes life easier for everyone. Research has shown that guests show a stronger preference for robot-staffed. They like these robots because they provide a unique delivery experience. Employees love them because they free up their time... And in return hotels can increase customer satisfaction and reduce their operating costs.
The primary function of room service robots is to autonomously deliver goods in their lockable compartment to your guests. These robots can securely navigate through the hotel corridor, call the elevator - and notify the guest once they've arrived at the room.
3. Housekeeping Robots
Nowadays there are even robots that can take over supplemental housekeeping work. These robots range from those that can clean toilets and collect linens - to more commonly - hotel floor cleaning robots.
The hotel floor cleaning robots can - you've guessed it - autonomously vacuum and sweep the floors in the hotel so that the floors look pristine at all times.
4. Intelligent Voice Assistants
We are transitioning from text-based communication to voice-based communication and voice assistants play an important role in facilitating this. We've already seen the voice assistants taking over hotels. Many hotel chains are implementing voice assistants in their properties to help guests navigate the hotel and improve the guest experience. These voice assistants can answer any questions guests may have, send quick reminders and make reservations, and more.
Apart from that, many hoteliers are connecting them into a “broader” smart in-room technology, in a way that the voice assistant can turn off the lights, play music at the voice command, and more.
"We want to remove the friction from our customers, and the most natural means was voice." Rohit Prasat - Amazon
What Are the Disadvantages of Using Hotel Robots?
Robots are widely used in hotels to help with mundane and repetitive tasks, such as cleaning, checking rooms, and delivering room service. However, these robots can come with disadvantages.
One of the biggest disadvantages is that they can be costly to use and maintain. Another disadvantage is that although some guests may find them cute, others - less tech-oriented - may not appreciate them at all.
Lastly, but not least. The hotel robots will not be able to provide the same level of service as a human workers, since they're limited by their programming and lack creativity and emotions. As a consequence, hoteliers need to carefully evaluate whether the robots fit with into their hotel operations and what type of tasks they want to delegate to a robot.
What Are the Benefits of Using Hotel Robots?
The usage of robots in the hotel industry has been on the rise, but it is not just a trend. It is a part of the future of hotels - a future that will be more efficient, and more personalized. Robots in the hotel industry have many benefits to offer, including:
Reduced labor cost.
Relieving employees in routine and mundane tasks, like delivering room service.
Less risk of human error.
Improved work quality and productivity.
Increase customer satisfaction.
Conclusion: The Hottest Trends in Robotics in the Hospitality Industry
The hospitality industry is becoming increasingly automated with the introduction of robots and AI. These robots are paving the way for the future of the hotel by relieving staff from mundane tasks, including frequently asked questions, room service delivery - to sweeping the floors.
At Metasphere, we are using robotics to digitalise the guest experience at hotels. We currently have an AI-Powered Chatbot capable of understanding natural language, and a robotic room service that can autonomously deliver items to your guests. Contact us today if you want to start improving your hotel operations!