Saturday 30 September 2023

Robots are making their way into hotels in Costa Rica

Hotel AC Marriott in Escazú is the first of its category in which its guests are served by three robots

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30 September 2023 - At The Banks - Source: BCCR

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Q COSTA RICA – Artificial Intelligence is making a big impact in people’s day-to-day lives, and now that’s even reaching the hotel industry. The AC Marriott in Escazú, Costa Rica recently became the first hotel of its kind to have robots assisting guests.

These robots, called Kettybot, CC1 and Flashbot, are programmed to provide customer service, room deliveries and clean large surfaces.

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These technologies are being promoted by the Costa Rican company Belca, part of the CIISA Group, to help their partners run their businesses efficiently and profitably without compromising customer experience.

Manfred Bucher, commercial director of Grupo CIISA, said, “We’re working on initiatives that are pioneering the Food Service industry in the region. We’re now introducing robots for the hotel sector for the first time, but for over a year we’ve been promoting robots in restaurants; we currently have more than 18 robots working in the region, including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica.”

With clear functions

Kettybot, CC1 and Flashbot are robots that are revolutionizing the service industry! Kettybot can map an entire room, recognize humans through facial recognition and even act as a waitress or hostess. CC1 can clean up to 1000 square meters per hour and Flashbot can make deliveries safely thanks to its UV sterilization system and core loading space. Belca has exclusivity for Central America and they provide technical support and repair services for the robots. It’s clear that the use of robots in the service sector is growing fast, with 45 contracts in the region already and more being offered in restaurants and other hotels.

The Kettybot robot has the ability to easily map an entire room, with each of its tables, and positions to provide its service. It recognizes the presence of a human through facial recognition, which allows it to operate as a wait staff and open the possibility to order through a digital menu on its screen. It can also function as a host, as it is able to lead a set route making stops and talking about a specific topic.

CC1, for its part, can maintain 1,000 square meters clean per hour. Its intelligent navigation system allows you to map an area and calculate the time it will take to clean, as well as the possibility of accessing different levels through an elevator and changing your water at the cleaning station, 100% autonomously while providing visibility into your progress.

Finally, Flashbot can go up and down elevators to make deliveries safely since it has a core loading space and security gate, as well as a UV sterilization system. This robot notifies when arriving at the room through a call.

Promising horizon

The incorporation of robots in the service sector is going to grow exponentially, according to Bucher, who stated that they currently have 45 robot contracts in the region. In Costa Rica, for example, they have advanced negotiations to expand this type of technological job offer in restaurants and they are already offering it in other hotels.

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The robot service works as a kind of rental and Belca is in charge of providing technical support and repair services for the devices.

The company acquires its robots from the Chinese company Pudu and they have exclusivity for Central America. Every time a robot is imported into the region, it is brought along with its spare parts, thus ensuring continuity of service.

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