• Charles

Investigation On the Rise of Hotel Robots

Updated: Apr 8, 2019

In this edition we travelled to a hotel in the city to study how robots are solving some manpower shortage issues in the tourism industry. The hotel was amazing, first class and the staff were courteous! The Millennium Hotels and Resort group in Singapore has employed her latest guest service associate is not a person, but an autonomous service delivery robot and will be at your service. The robot seems to have a gender though. She’s called AURA, which stands for Automated Room-Service Associate. M Social Hotel has piloted the use of Aura, and Millennium Hotel and Resort group will roll out the robots to four others in the next 12 months, in the biggest push to deploy robots in hotels here so far. If you are planning your next short staycation at one of the five Millennium hotels in Singapore in the next 12 months, you will be delighted to be greeted by AURA at your door when you order bottled water or extra towels.

This robot knows how to call for the elevator, get to the correct floor, find the right room, and call the guest on the room phone. Along the way, AURA knows how to avoid obstacles and give way to other people in the corridor. Once at the door, AURA opens her lid when the guest opens the room door. The guest then takes items out from AURA, and then tells AURA the items have been removed. AURA invites the guest to provide feedback, before she heads off back to her docking station at the hotel lobby.

One of our local polytechnic, Republic Poly has collaborated with its industry partners (StarHub and robotic vendor, Savioke) have successfully deployed technology solutions through its Hospitality Solutions Centre, such as Singapore’s first hotel front-of-house Autonomous Guided Robot, known as Automated Room-service Associate (AURA).   AURA is stationed at M Social’s lobby, and she helps to deliver a variety of items to guest rooms. Hotel staff place items like bottled water, towels, toiletries, amenities and packed meals into AURA, tell her which room to go, and she’s off to do the delivery. ​ The most fascinating thing, of course, is to see AURA in action. AURA roams the hotel floors autonomously, and she does not depend on rails or other physical fixtures to guide her path. As mentioned, AURA senses presence of other people and knows to avoid colliding into them.  AURA has the ability to navigate herself back in order to charge itself.  ​ AURA is the first outside of the United States. The implementation of AURA at the hotel arose from collaboration between Republic Polytechnic, StarHub and the M Social Singapore team. It required integration with key hotel systems including phone and elevator systems for an end-to-end solution to offer a great guest experience. This is truly the beginning of the hotel robotic world and we are sure there are more innovation to come down the road.

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