WATCH | A delivery robot that's designed to be hospitality-level friendly.
Next time you order room service at your hotel room, this robot may be who brings it your door.
Savioke’s bot butler, called Relay, first started popping up in hotels in late 2014 and now operates in 50 worldwide, including Crowne Plaza Hotel, Aloft Hotels and Residence Inn.
Hospitality workers at hotels load Relay with food, drinks, towels (whatever you ordered!) and then it drives itself to your room and rings your phone.
Most hotels choose unique branding for their own Relay. In the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the robot is called Dash.
Relay is smart enough to learn hotel layouts after being manually driven around a property once.
"He builds up a map, so he knows where all the rooms are," Savioke CTO Tessa Lau explained to Circa.
But, so that you want to use Relay, Savioke has put as much effort into the bot's social design as its impressive technicals. Relay has a smiley "face" and friendly blinking eyes, and it also beeps and boops at you -- like R2D2, the robot inspiration for Relay, Lau said.
Savioke in April celebrated its 100,000th successful Relay delivery, a milestone that was announced alongside a new deal that recently put Relay robots in FedEx repair facilities.
"We designed Relay to do delivery," Lau said. "Someone who's working on a bench and trying to repair some electronics, they don't have to get up and go fetch the part from the parts depot. They can just push a button on their desk and Relay comes and brings it to them."
Relay is also coming to some FedEx Kinkos stores.