Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has created a robot specifically
for the hospitality industry.
The small, egg-shaped robot stands about three feet tall and
moves at about three feet per second.
In October, Alibaba A.I. Labs will begin testing the robot
in a hotel to do things such as deliver room service or laundry to guests. Guests
will also be able to communicate with the robot using voice commands and touch
and hand gestures.
“We are excited by this tremendous development that is
helping us bridge the gap between guest needs and the response time that they
expect,” says Chen Lijuan, general manage of Alibaba A.I. Labs.
“Alibaba A.I. Labs’ robot is the next step in the evolution
towards smart hotels. The robot will be the ultimate assistant for hotel guests
who want everything quickly and conveniently at their fingertips.
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The robot is equipped with an autonomous navigation system
to identify and dodge obstacles, a communications system to control elevators
and facial-recognition technology for ID verification.
A.I. Labs is Alibaba’s division that leads the development
of artificial intelligence consumer products.
After testing the robot in hotels, Alibaba says it will
determine if it is also suitable for use in hospitals, restaurants and offices.