Nowadays, one can hardly find an industry that will not be influenced by the technological advances that more and more often appear in the world. The hotel industry is not an exception. On the current stage, robots are already used in hotels for a variety of purposes. However, in the nearest future, their application in the sphere of cleaning and other services will grow considerably. Technological advances simplify the human work considerably. Therefore, their application in the hotel operations will raise the effectiveness of the entire organization.
The information systems and many other technological advances are widely used in the hospitality industry. In his book, Jackson focuses on Helping Hands as an interesting engineering solution that ensures the higher effectiveness of work (323). Such solution was offered more than ten years ago and has undergone many improvements until now. With regard to Helping Hands, Bath Bot needs particular attention as a small robot that can clean the bathtub in the motel (Jackson 323). Mainly this task is referred to as the most common in the hotel industry. However, some other actions that can be performed in hotels by robots include meal or other deliveries and automobiles support. At the time described by Jackson, the bathroom cleaning robots had to be controlled by the attendant (325). Hence, it ensured only partial simplification of hotel workers. However, nowadays, they go on developing to ensure the improved robots that could be even more independent from humans.
There are several examples of robots that can be applied in the hotel industry such as: human-friendly humanoids, teleoperation systems, disk-shaped robots, etc. In his interview, Steve Cousins defended the position that robots are the inseparable part of the future and such advanced systems as HiDOF, Robots for Humanity, Redwood Robotics, etc. will bring considerable advantages to hotels (Pransky 4). The benefits will occur on different levels. For instance, disc-shaped robots simplify the delivery to rooms, vacuuming and cleaning, etc. (Peter par 1). They carry out low-level tasks to save time for humans to do analytical and intellectual work (Peter par 5).
Advantages Robots Bring
Robots are strongly associated with the better service level. Advanced Robotics and Hotel Robotics are the firms that ensure the focused customer service and greater reliability (Jackson 325). Many types of research prove that the usage of robots in the hotel industry is one of the best means to ensure the higher level of customers satisfaction. For instance, Ryiad, who has regarded the hotel industry in the contemporary terms, emphasized that the development is the main tool of the effective marketing (188). In such a way, humanoids interest the customers and are perceived as a sign of the hotels productive work and development. In addition to that, empirical researches also prove that customer satisfaction is dependent on the robots utilization. According to Kattara and El-Said, hotel guests can sometimes prefer the direct contact with a human worker, but prefer to use technological devices like humanoids and computers if speed and easy service is necessary (80). Although different occupancy level or channels are influential, there are sufficient evidence that robots services are quite attractive to customers.
Mainly, technologies are the means on the way to development that can ensure the higher results. While CRM is an integral part of the hotels operations and was the first widely applied technological solution, robots are becoming more and more widely used in the area too (Eid 188). According to Yeoman and Yu, the future of tourism and the hotel industry can hardly be imagined without smart technological solutions. Ashhad et al. provide evidence that the intelligent automation ensures not only timely but also high-level services (122). Nowadays, humanoids perform a great variability of functions and become appropriate in many areas. Therefore, they can ensure the effective performing of various things. Especially those of the monotonous nature will not evoke the negative emotions or fatigue as it occurs with people. Baya and Wood argue that a great advantage of robots is their ability to deal with the productivity challenges in creative ways (12). In such a way, they bring positive changes to many levels.
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Robots usage in the hotel industry ensures smarter jobs. Yeoman and Yu point on knee-high autonomous robots to show that humanoids can be designed specifically for some definite tasks (73). In addition, telerobotics with human operator control can become a good solution for the hospitality industries (Yeoman and Yu 78). What is important, their usage can ensure a just distribution of resources in hotels. Baya and Wood supported this idea and proved that robotics reflect the cognition revolution (10). The rapid development of modular platforms, the changes in many areas including functional domains, operating system, manipulation and control interfaces are important for effective work (Vinod and Lamont 10). However, with regard to the mentioned advantages, it is necessary to analyze the possible counterarguments.
There are two main disadvantages against the usage of robots, but they both can be refuted. The opponents of the robots usage argue that their implementation is too costly. However, it is not always true, and it is necessary to point out that the consequent increase in productivity can cover the expenditures for the robots usage. Ashhad et al. are convinced that a low cost service robot exists and can interact with customers to provide high-quality services and ensure the tolerable level of expenses and bring some advantages to hotels that will exploit it (121).
Moreover, one can ensure that implementation of robots can lead to high level of unemployment. However, it is no true. In fact, even the smartest and the best-developed robots will need some service from time to time. Hence, people will still have to control many operations. Moreover, even though robots are the example of the cognitive revolution as Baya and Wood claimed, they still are unable to perform the highly intellectual tasks (10). Instead, they are helpful to ensure smart duties distribution, when the tiresome mechanic work is done more quickly and effectively.
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To sum it up, the majority of scholars and analysts prove that utilization of robots in the hotel industry brings a great number of advantages. In particular, faster solutions to mechanical, low-complication-level tasks, the growth of productivity and the higher level of customers satisfaction due to the services provided and being the sign of orientation for developments. Bath Bot, disk-shaped, teleoperating, and other robots can provide high delivery, cleaning, and support services to customers. Hence, they ensure a high level of task performance and involvement of humans into more intellectual work and significantly assist the hotel industry employees with daily operations and a rise in earnings.
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