It could be said that some guest amenities at the luxury Vdara Hotel and Spa Resort in Las Vegas’ City Center are going to the dogs.
Yes, Fetch and Jett, two proficient (and housebroken) robots with exteriors resembling the coats of different canine breeds, are giving guests a unique experience by delivering snacks and drinks, sundries and even spa products directly to guest suites. Not even a pat on the head for them is needed — their tamper-proof lids automatically open for guests to receive their items once the bot enters the room. Best yet, they never ask for a tip, except in nonmonetary terms about how your day is going.
“Fetch and Jett are a fun and convenient addition to our team at Vdara,“ says Vdara general manager Mary Giuliano. “Guests enjoy the novelty of having their morning coffee and other items delivered by a robot, which frees up time for the rest of our staff to focus their energy on requests that require a higher level of service. We’re committed to creating special experiences for each guest, and I’m certain this will be a memorable one.”
The talented bots, a hat-tip to the hotel’s dog-friendly policy, work alongside their human colleagues to transport an array of frequently forgotten and requested amenities including shaving and dental kits, as well as tasty bites and drinks from Market Café. Designed and built by robot developer Savioke, Fetch and Jett are fully autonomous indoor delivery (Relay) robots that use advanced technology to seamlessly navigate around people and objects. Upon receiving a request, a hotel employee will load items into the robot’s compartment before inputting the guest’s room number and hitting the “GO” button. The robots can prioritize multiple requests and wirelessly communicate with the hotel’s systems — even operating the elevators autonomously.
Since initial commercial deployment in 2014, Savioke’s Relay robots have made over 150,000 autonomous deliveries around the world, from New York to Los Angeles and throughout Asia Pacific, including Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia and the Maldives. The Asia Pacific locations are via 10 luxury properties of the Hotel Jen chain, which welcomed its newest mobile and automated colleagues, Jeno and Jena, as the first international hotel brand to use autonomous Relay robots in Asia.
At CES 2018 in Las Vegas, robots were the big news. From vacuuming floors to folding an entire load of laundry in four minutes to playing ping-pong, holding conversations. fetching beers, being an active age companion and loads more, there appears to be little that robots can’t do.
But do hotel guests really want robots? According to a study done by Software Advice on tech use in hotels, people in the millennial age range — about 18 to 34 — are much more likely to opt for a hotel with digital capabilities than older travelers. As to what the respondents would like to see the robots do, 51 percent chose room delivery of items like extra towels and snacks, and 26 percent preferred assistance with checking in and out. Delivering room service came in third at 18 percent and announcing dining and activity options ranked last at 5 percent.
Such technology would likely have little use at luxury properties where personalized service is a key element of the product. Still, for guests looking for that little extra fun treat, robots are the next evolution in the hospitality industry.