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Hotel Robots Get Second Life as Industry Adapts to Covid-19

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Savioke's Relay room-service robot making a delivery

Robots like Savioke's Relay reduce potentially unsafe interactions with contactless room service.

Credit: Savioke

Delivery robots offer contactless room service to minimize interactions between hotel staff and guests, according to hoteliers and robotics companies. Cleaning robots also can be used to vacuum hallways so cleaning crews can focus on sanitizing rooms.

Google Ventures-backed robotics company Savioke Inc., maker of the pint-size delivery robot Relay, has seen requests for delivery robots from the hospitality sector double since the start of the pandemic. Savioke is working on a larger robot to handle the delivery of larger items to hotel rooms, like king-size pillows.

Maidbot, maker of the Rosie vacuuming robot, plans to release wet-cleaning and disinfecting machines to help housekeepers virus-proof room surfaces.

Hotel operators and robotics companies contend that robots help staff, not replace them, but many U.S. hotels have reduced staff during the pandemic, and robots could limit how much extra labor they add to meet new demands for sanitation.

From The Wall Street Journal
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