The robots are here. At M Social Singapore, their latest guest service associate is not a person, but an autonomous service delivery robot. The robot seems to have a gender though. She’s called AURA, which stands for AUtomated Room-Service Associate. The next time you order bottled water or extra towels, don’t be surprised to find AURA greeting you at the door.
AURA is stationed at M Social’s lobby, and she helps to deliver a variety of items to guest rooms. Hotel staff place items like bottled water, towels, toiletries, amenities and packed meals into AURA, tell her which room to go, and she’s off to do the delivery.
This robot knows how to call for the elevator, get to the correct floor, find the right room, and call the guest on the room phone. Along the way, AURA knows how to avoid obstacles and give way to other people in the corridor.
Once at the door, AURA opens her lid when the guest opens the room door. The guest then takes items out from AURA, then tells AURA the items have been removed. AURA invites the guest to provide feedback, before she heads off back to her docking station at the hotel lobby.
The most fascinating thing, of course, is to see AURA in action. I’ll have videos posted up soon. AURA roams the hotel floors autonomously, and she does not depend on rails or other physical fixtures to guide her path. As mentioned, AURA senses presence of other people and knows to avoid colliding into them.
AURA is developed by Savioke, and the deployment at M Social Singapore is the first outside of the United States. The implementation of AURA at the hotel arose from collaboration between Republic Polytechnic, StarHub and the M Social Singapore team. It required integration with key hotel systems including phone and elevator systems for an end-to-end solution.