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Johannesburg’s Hotel Sky becomes first hotel in Africa to deploy robot staff

16 Feb 2021 (Last Updated February 16th, 2021 17:47)

Hotel Sky, a recently opened hotel in Johannesburg of South Africa, has deployed automated or robot attendants, thereby claiming to have become the first hotel in Africa to opt for robot hospitality.

Hotel Sky, a recently opened hotel in Johannesburg of South Africa, has deployed automated or robot attendants, thereby claiming to have become the first hotel in Africa to opt for robot hospitality.

Robot hospitality is not a new concept given that several Japanese hotels have embraced it since 2015, reported Reuters.

The deployment of the automated attendants is claimed to help the hotel, located in Johannesburg’s wealthy Sandton district, to adhere to the Covid-19 protocols.

It is staffed with three robots – Lexi, Micah and Ariel.

This concept is expected to raise concerns in a country, where unemployment has touched 30.8%.

Hotel Sky managing director Paul Kelly told the news agency: “It’ll never replace people, but it is going to change the space.”

“I think that it is the future,” he added.

The three AI-powered robots provide room service, travel information and can carry up to 300kg of luggage from lobby to the rooms.

These robots are deployed to attend to guests with Covid-19 symptoms.

Hotel Sky general manager Herman Brits told the news agency: “Guests can choose whether they want to interact with staff members or make use of the self service, which is all controlled by their phone choose.”

The robots were supplied by CTRL Robotics.

CTRL Robotics CEO Steve Pinto said the machine staff could also scan facial expressions of customers to find their satisfaction.

Pinto added: “It helps management to understand how customers are experiencing the facilities at the hotel.”

Hotel Sky, which opened earlier this year, plans to launch another hotel in Cape Town in March.