A hotel staff deploys an AI robot to delivers food to guests who are undergoing a 14-day quarantine at L'hotel Island South, Hong Kong, March 20, 2020. (PARKER ZHENG/CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG - A hotel in Hong Kong has gone robotic in observing the social contact distancing guideline amid the virus epidemic outbreak.
READ MORE: Technical innovation assists in virus fight
Since the beginning of March, L’hotel has added a new member to its hospitality staff. Appropriately named Genie, it is what the hotel describes as an artificial-intelligence-based robot who obviously enjoys a distinct advantage over its human counterparts, immunity to the dreaded coronavirus, or any virus for that matter.
Genie the robot can deliver up to two meal sets and eight cups of beverages to guests, said Catherine Yuen senior marketing communications manager of L'hotel Management Company
So endowed, Genie is put in charge of the most risky mission, making door-to-door deliveries to guests. To appreciate its worth, it is important to note that there are guests spending quarantine time in the hotel. These are considered high risk individuals who may have exposed to the virus one way of another.
What’s more, Genie is quite a capable worker, according to its boss. Each time, the robot can deliver up to two meal sets and eight cups of beverages to guests, said Catherine Yuen, senior marketing communications manager of L'hotel Management Company Limited.
To prepare it for each mission, a human worker has to input the guest’s room number into Genie’s control panel and placed the food and drinks into its container. After that, Genie is on its own. It rolls along designated routes and stop in front of the preassigned room waiting for the guest to retrieve the deliveries by inputing the correct password.
Robot Genie delivers food to guests at L’hotel Island South, Hong Kong, March 20, 2020. (PARKER ZHENG/CHINA DAILY)
And, of course, Genie can take the elevators to serve guests at different floors.
The device can effectively avoid direct contact between hotel guests and staffs, helping to lower the risks of cross-infection, Yu said.
The hotel will introduce two more robots before April, as a reassurance to its guests who are worried about the hygiene issues amid the deadly disease that is fast spreading across the city.
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