Photo Credit: Photo by Luca Sola/AFP via Getty Images.
Johannesburg Hotel Becomes First African Business To Use Robots As Staff
Johannesburg, South Africa’s Hotel Sky Sandton has become the first establishment on the continent to utilize robot staff.
The automated attendants, Lexi, Micah, and Ariel, were introduced as a response to the increasing need to socially distance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each robot is able to provide guests with information, deliver room service, and carry luggage weighing up to 165 pounds.
Guests of the hotel can choose to interact with staff or utilize the hotel’s self-service options, including self check-in. They can also use the hotel’s mobile app to order food, enter their room, or contact staff.
“It’s important to note that the robots in no way replace human beings or jobs,” said Herman Brits, the general manager of Hotel Sky. “People are at the core of our business and the hospitality industry as a whole, so the robots supplement the guest experience.”
“Our guests have had so much fun interacting with the robots, as it’s a very exciting and novel addition to a hotel stay. There is a balance between robot and human interaction. The robots will never replace the people at our properties, as our staff matter so much to us.”
The automated assistants are simply a way for the hotel to adapt to the ever-changing hospitality climate and needs of its customers.
Described by Brit as “fashionistas at heart with a love for trends, hospitality, technology, and South Africa,” Lexi, Micah, and Ariel are each dressed in their own special, colorful outfit.
Hotel Sky plans to open another location in Cape Town next month, complete with three new robots to join its team of staff.