During a COVID-19 driven downturn in the hospitality sector, Hong Kong-based L’hotel Group is turning to robots to help supplement workers and cut down on human to human contact in their hotels. Named Genie, three units are helping to deliver meals and packages to guests at the 432 room L’hotel Island South property in Wong Chuk Hang. The company said that this is the first hotel to introduce meal-delivery robots in Hong Kong.
The Genie robot is already serving about 150 meals per day to guests who are mostly in quarantine. They can make deliveries around the clock and even go up and down the hotel’s elevator. When the robot reaches its destination, the customer simply unlocks it with a code or via smartphone. Genie can be tracked remotely by staff through an app.
Genie Hotel Delivery Robot Comes from Rice Robotics
Genie comes from Hong Kong-based Rice Robotics who provides the robots on a subscription basis. Their cartoonish looking bots have been used to make deliveries in places like hotels, hospitals, and high rise residential and corporate areas.
“The hotels want to minimise person-to-person contact amid the pandemic. Comparing the situations before and after the epidemic, the growth [in sales] stands at three to four times,” said Victor Lee, founder of Rice Robotics.
L’Hotel Group feels that the use of robots in hotels will continue to grow as the industry was already suffering from staffing issues before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“With the rapid development of information technology, L’Hotel Group is convinced that the introduction of robots in the hotel industry, to implement automated services, will be a megatrend in the next five years,” the company said.