retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Daily Mail has a story about how a company called Savioke has developed what it is calling a "hospitality robot" that hotels will be able to use to deliver to guest rooms "everything from toothpaste to Starbucks."

The robots navigate using Wi-Fi and 3D cameras, and currently there are a dozen of them being tested in the US. "This includes the Residence Inn by Marriott Los Angeles LAX/Century Boulevard, where Relay makes routine deliveries and also brings coffee to guests from the Starbucks in the hotel lobby. Officially called Relay – though it has gained its own nicknames at some hotels – the robot stands three feet tall, and has a compartment at the top that can be loaded with items for delivery."

The story says that "on Saturdays and during the December holidays, the Relay robots were met with their busiest delivery days, taking on the many deliveries that would otherwise be done by hotel staff. While some may argue that these robots are set to replace human jobs, the hotels assert that they won't be taking jobs, but instead allow human employees to put more focus into other tasks."

The company recently landed $15 million in funding, which experts believe could make the robots a lot more ubiquitous. And definitely an Eye-Opener.
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