Imagine a vacation or business trip in the company of helpful robot…and meet Relay! Relay is a robot the size of the world famous R2-D2, designed to help hotel employees in their daily, repetitive tasks. Relay performs simple activities, rides the elevator and walks the corridors, and will provide hotel guests with necessary items, such as extra towels, hygienic accessories, and even Starbucks coffee directly to their rooms.
When the machine performs 1500 successful trips in the first 6 months of work, like it did during tests, it saves staff hours, during which they can devote their attention to more advanced and complicated tasks that require the work of the human mind, not just “hands”. Relay moves using 3D cameras and Wi-Fi. When you open the door to the room, the robot opens the compartment containing the articles that were ordered, which also makes it practically impossible for anyone to steal anything. Relay has the entire plan of the hotel uploaded into his system, so he knows exactly where to go. Relay can also “see”, so he can easily get around people and objects in his path. When his mission is complete, Relay returns to his station, just like an automatic vacuum cleaner.
The creators of the project, Steve Cousins, Tessa Lau, Adrian Canoso and Izumi Yaskawa, wanted to create a robot that will actually be for ordinary people. For decades, robots were too complicated, too expensive and too dangerous to function as a part of daily human life. Thanks to the combination of new robotics software technologies and the cost optimization of robotic equipment and components, these barriers have disappeared, says Steve Cousins, CEO of Savioke.
Relay already works at the Residence Inn Los Angeles LAX, and his colleagues have nicknamed him Wally. Tom Beedon, the hotel manager, notes that Wally is a star, with some visitors placing orders for certain items just for the opportunity to take some pictures with the robot and post them on social media. The item most often delivered is toothpaste.
Robots can also offer their delivery services to restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, or wherever people work, sleep or eat. So if you have not yet come across a robot, don’t worry, because increasing chances are you’ll meet one in the near future. And what is such a robot could be controlled via mobile application?! It would turn out that everyone has the remote in their pocket!