Robots and automation are slowly expanding into the food space, with capabilities including flipping burgers and brewing coffee. Now, however, there's a robot butler in Las Vegas that will deliver goods straight to your hotel room in what could be the future of room service.
The Vdara Hotel & Spa in Las Vegas now has a pair of these delivery bots that link directly to the hotel's market cafe. Named Fetch and Jett, they can easily navigate crowds and optimize ordering to ensure that you get the stuff you requested in under five minutes.
Foodbeast's own Elie Ayrouth got to try the new robot butler out in a beta test, and found the robot "silly, scary, and useful all at once."
"Scary?" I prodded.
"Nothing about the dog-themed robot is scary, per se -- just scaringly interesting in how far we've come. I didn't realize we needed a robot to deliver toiletries to the room, but the inevitable makes sense. Why waste a human person's time when this robotic dog could bring me Chapstick, tooth brush or a cup of coffee."
"The most surreal part of the experience is that the robot goes out the front door of the convenience store downstairs just like a customer would, tracks through the lobby, goes up the elevator, and down to your room," he said. "I think most people have no idea what they're looking at."
The robot delivery system starts on a tablet that Vdara already uses for their room service. You can pick what drinks, snacks, or other goods you need from the Market Cafe, and they'll be packaged and loaded up into the robot butler. It then navigates through the crowds and up elevators to your room, and calls upon arrival so that you're ready to pick up your stuff as soon as it reaches your door.
Ayrouth noted that there isn't a ton of room inside for your order. "I think it can hold a few cups of coffee and a bag of chips, and I don't believe it makes multiple stops on one outing," he explained. "When it's compartment is opened, the entirety of it is emptied out, and likely needs to go all the way back downstairs before it can make another trip."
Nonetheless, the new robots at Vdara present a convenient way to get your amenities to you while allowing the staff to focus on customer service and other hotel needs.
While Vdara's robot butler serves as a useful convenient option, it can't deliver full meals just yet. However, Ayrouth sees these as "a start in the direction" of robots becoming the future of room service. "It can deliver coffee, given a larger capacity it could surely hold hot plates of food," he says.
We'll have to see how these robots perform and what the future may hold for Vdara's automation capabilities to see how that future could play out.