Now, after the Industrial Revolution, which is conquering all spheres of life where we humans stop us – at home, in the garden, at the shop, in the office or in the hotel. Thus demonstrates, science fiction becomes real. Those who do not yet get one can first experience it in the hotel industry. – Besides faces in the "baby face" manner, why there first?
How does robotics differ from robotics in the past today?
We still know of robots that have been used on stationary machines, mostly in a deserted and hostile environment full of metal. These were stationary, highly repetitive, powerful and usually expensive automation systems. For example, industrial robot arms repeat the same action over and over again with the utmost precision. The service robots open up a new field – one of flexible, semi-autonomous or fully autonomous robotics. It is no longer just about robotics that automates certain human tasks. It’s more about how flexible and (partially) autonomous robots enable new, more complex workflows. In short, robots are no longer "one-trick ponies" that automate just one task.
The ever more favourable manufacturing costs of the components, technological quantum leaps and innovative business models lay the basis.
Robotics finally comes out of the realm of science fiction and their service to the people. If not in our homes as staff service and household robots, then in our hotels, hospitals, restaurants, warehouses, hardware stores and retail stores.
The time has come – market opportunities for Robotics are rising worldwide
As an example of use on the front line is the hotel industry. The first companies on the three industrial continents are making an impact, with "Your order is here.“.
Robots from Savioke, Adept, start-ups like Fetch Robotics and Fellow Robotics from the USA are well known and some examples of the worldwide emerging service robotics industry. In addition, there are robots such as Pepper and Nao of the French company Aldebaran Robotics SAS, a subsidiary of the Japanese telecommunications and media group SoftBank. The service robot Jeeves from Robotise in Munich is another example. All of these companies are in the process of developing disruptive technologies and making them useable for new applications and markets.
"Robots are booming – this applies both to the industrial sector and increasingly also to private use," says Martin Hägele, Chairman of the Service Robotics Group of the IFR. "The growing interest in service robotics is partly due to the variety and number of start-ups that currently make up 29 percent of all robot companies. In addition, established large companies are increasingly investing in robotics, often through the acquisition of start-ups. "
The European manufacturers of service robots already play an important role in the global market: Around 290 out of the 700 registered service robots providers come from Europe. North America ranks second with around 240 manufacturers and Asia with around 130 manufacturers in third place.
In the US, around 200 start-ups are currently working on new service robots. There are 170 companies active in the European Union and Switzerland creating a new entrepreneurial culture for service robotics, followed by Asia with 115 start-ups. Virtually all economies seek to create a vibrant business environment to support service robotics.
Service robots in gastronomy and hospitality are coming
In many areas of the service sector, robots that looked very similar to humans last year, such as kiosk or assistant robots, have found their way into human life. This reflects changing tasks. None of these robots will ever replace humans in the foreseeable future. However, they help out in times of bottlenecks or help make jobs more attractive, especially in areas where there is a chronic shortage of staff or high staff turnover.
At the end of the day, there is the support of service robots to assist workers to work better, faster and safer. These new robot assistants provide a tantalizing outlook on a reshaped work paradigm: people are elevated to leadership roles or perform higher value activities, and delegate more and more subordinate or repetitive work to service robots.
In restaurants or hotels, the use of robots relieves the staff of routine tasks and ensures consistent quality and reduces the risk, for example, of losing food by exceeding the best before date (expiration date). In hotels, they can replace the room service of delivery or internal delivery services and even take over maintenance tasks.
In public areas, such as restaurants and hotels, one of the great advantages is generating high attention that can be used to create an advertising impact, especially as long as the majority of competitors do not use robots. But in the long term, service robots will become the standard, ultimately raising the service portfolio and level. Here are some examples:
The SaviOne from Savioke (USA) was commissioned in hotels in California and can communicate with the elevator and telephone systems. The robot is about 90 centimeters tall, weighs about 45 kilograms and moves at a walking pace. The robot provides snacks and amenities to hotel guests, allowing hotel staff to focus on the needs of other guests.
Another design is the Yobot, which is used at the Japanese Hotel Henna in Sasebo, Nagasaki, or in the lobby of the largest New York hotels as an automated baggage storage and retrieval system. The theatrically illuminated industrial robot is a key feature in the lobby. Housed behind a secure glass enclosure, the robot picks up guests’ luggage in one of 117 lockers. For the departure, so that Yobot brings back their bags, the guests show their barcode receipt.
The world’s third largest ship, the Royal Caribbean’s "Anthem of the Seas", offers innovative entertainment, novelties and drinks at the "Bionic Bar": In the middle of the bar stand two large robot arms bent in the same way as human elbows, ready, a predefined robot cocktail or a traditional classic.
The automation of food preparation in the catering industry has become increasingly an issue for the use of robots. One example is the announced kitchen assistant of the start-up Miso Robotics (USA).
Moley Robotics (UK) intends to take food preparation one step further: integrated into a modern, professional kitchen, this concept has two robotic arms with skilled hands. Repeat the movements and actions of a master chef to prepare a gourmet meal.
A consumer version of Robotic Kitchen is also planning to launch Moley. Sophisticated yet compact: The four kitchen elements, such as robot arms, oven, hob and touch screen device, are to be integrated.
Robotise from Munich introduces the first service robot in the hospitality field. The autonomous, self-propelled delivery robot for the hotel industry brings errands from the front desk or orders from the mini bar. He saves the service staff the way through the corridors, for small errands of the guest, which he would also order in the mini-bar or in his room. His name is Jeeves, named after the "Butler" in an English cult TV series.
In a typical scenario, guests order the service robot via the hotel app via smartphone or call the front desk and say what they would like. When the guest opens the door, Jeeves will automatically drive out the appropriate delivery compartment and guests will be able to pick up the items ordered, such as towels. As a "rolling mini bar" he has most of the consumer goods or drinks snacks fresh and cool with him.
Fresh delivery service instead of canned in the mini-bar?
Frequent travelers know it: Late again looked in the mini bar, can be found only in nuts and spirits, or long-lasting drinks in cans. To stock up on the mini-bar, to look after each guest and to refill, is a time-consuming and unpopular activity in the hotel industry. There are hardly any staff for these simple activities. The energy costs of the most cheaply manufactured refrigerators are not to be underestimated.
Here, a service robot as a "rolling mini-bar" can bring relief, also allows a wider selection of assortment of snacks and drinks. The room service is completed by him. The freed up time can now use the room staff for more important tasks.
"Hello, your room service is there" – robots as a service opportunity
A service robot also allows the hotel to provide additional services. For example, some hotels have limited room service to certain hours of the day. Also, many hotels have only one person at the reception overnight. In this case, you cannot leave them to perform messenger services. Other possible services include punctual deliveries.
This marks the beginning of the arrival of service robots in Europe and will soon be part of the hotel standard. So next time you order something in your hotel room, do not be surprised if you serve a robotized butler named Jeeves.
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