Munich service robot can provide support during the COVID 19 pandemic

High-tech help for doctors and nursing staff: Service robot jeeve can protect and help patients and clinic staff during the corona crisis.


The technology company Robotise wants to help quickly alleviate current staff shortages in hospitals, doctors’ practices and nursing homes.

The company, which emerged from the Technical University of Munich, is modifying its JEEVES service robot for this purpose. The 1.10-meter-high robot has been used primarily for minibar and room service in hotels until now. But the robotic butler will now be used as an autonomous assistant for the health sector. It is available immediately for orders, can be customized for each application in consultation with the client and is ready for use within a few weeks.

JEEVES is intended to support work in clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, laboratories and large medical practices, among other things. This allows staff greater time for more critical and useful medical tasks.

For example, JEEVES can operate as an independent logistics unit and distribute beverages, supply stations with medication, and transport laboratory samples or surgical instruments. The autonomously operating robot has several drawers with a total loading volume of around 100 liters for this purpose. It can refrigerate the contents of the drawers if required, allowing it to transport sensitive goods such as blood samples while maintaining a specific temperature.

After a short installation phase, JEEVES can operate independently in a predefined environment. To do this, it uses a kind of internal map, for example of a particular ward of the clinic, for navigation. Various sensors help it find its way around by detecting obstacles such as beds in hospital corridors and other objects. JEEVES travels independently by elevator to other floors and can work alone or automatically follow doctors or nurses during their rounds, in order to always have important utensils such as dressing material and medications available.

In the current situation, JEEVES can facilitate the care of isolated COVID-19 patients, for example by providing them with drinks or snacks. While physicians and nurses have to wear cumbersome protective clothing for these tasks, JEEVES can easily work in isolation wards. This minimizes the contact of COVID-19 patients with other people and thus the risk of infection for hospital staff. JEEVES makes “social isolation” possible without endangering the care of the quarantined patient.

The service robot can provide valuable support especially now when medical personnel are often reaching their limits in terms of stress. It can work around the clock without tiring and becoming susceptible to errors. This gives doctors and nurses more freedom to provide professional services and personal contact with patients.

JEEVES consists of a base that can be equipped with different modules for the respective application. So each service robot can be custom configured according to the user’s needs. It is standardly equipped with three to four drawers, accepts instructions via a specially programmed app or computer software and has an 18.5-inch display via which it communicates with its counterpart.

Voice output is also being planned now. And there are plans to equip the robot so it can independently disinfect certain hospital areas – JEEVES would be a great help for COVID-19 stations here as well. Another possible use is for automated temperature measurement, for example for patients in clinics or of people in public spaces such as airports. The engineers at Robotise are also working on this functionality.

JEEVES is ready for operation at short notice. Robotise offers customers a leasing model so rapid deployment of the robot is not held up by lengthy investment decisions. In this so-called “Robots-as-a-Service model,” the manufacturer and customer work closely together throughout the entire period of use of JEEVES so Robotise can continuously ensure the security and maintenance of the robots.

Robotise’s vision for JEEVES
JEEVES is the first service robot for the European hotel industry and soon for the rest of the world. Due to the flexibility and learning capacity of the system, JEEVES can also be used in many other contexts where people need to be supplied with goods.

Robotise develops and markets service robots for companies and public institutions. The company’s core objective is to solve everyday challenges where service robots can provide great benefits – such as improving service performance, relieving personnel, compensating for shortages of skilled workers and opening up new opportunities for customers. Robotise was founded in 2016 by Johannes Fuchs and Oliver Stahl. The company’s headquarters are located at the “Ideas Campus” in Munich. Today, the robotics team includes more than 30 employees, and the company plans to continue to grow in all business areas.

Contact Robotise GmbH
Sarah Bretzler – Head of Sales & Marketing
E-Mail: presse@robotise.eu
https://pflegeroboter.robotise.eu
https://robotise.eu

How Service Automation Improves Hotel Reputation

A study of the Tripadvisor travel platform in collaboration with Ipsos MORI shows that “86% of respondents agree that ratings give them more confidence in their booking decision”. Travelers cite helpful ratings (70%), content accuracy (62%) and the wide range of travel content (62%) as the main reasons for their decision to book via this platform. (Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/online-reviews-remain-a-trusted-source-of-information-when-booking-trips-reveals-new-research-300885097.html)

The crux of these ratings is that they are created only after the travelers have finished their stay or trip. Although 95 percent of the ratings are positive, the 5 percent of poor ratings are of course more significant. Especially because hotel managers and employees cannot change the situation after the departure of an unsatisfied guest. However, the study also shows how important online reviews are and what influence they have on travelers’ booking behavior.

With digital tools and service automation it is very easy to inspire guests these days. Hoteliers can already react to praise and criticism of their guests, while they are still at the hotel.

This article answers the following questions:

  • Why online evaluations are so important
  • How hoteliers handle ratings correctly
  • How hoteliers can take advantage of the social proof and thus influence the buying behavior of their guests
  • How service automation helps to increase guest satisfaction and how it impacts hotel reputation


The significance of online reviews for the hospitality industry and why reviews are so important

People buy from people, it’s in our nature. Therefore, it is not surprising and is confirmed by the above study that people trust the opinions of other people more than the marketing text on a hotel website. 81 percent of travelers read an evaluation before deciding on an accommodation. This demonstrates the importance that can be attributed to hotel ratings and why it is imperative that hoteliers proactively seeks feedback from theirguests.

It is very beautiful and nostalgic when a guestbook is displayed in the lobby, perhaps with a golden cover. However, these ratings are only seen by guests who are already in the hotel. However, 96 percent of the customer journey starts online and the potential guests usually come to the hotel website via Google.

People buy from people, it’s in our nature. Therefore, it is not surprising and is confirmed by the above study that people trust the opinions of other people more than the marketing text on a hotel website. 81 percent of travelers read an evaluation before deciding on an accommodation. This demonstrates the importance that can be attributed to hotel ratings and why it is imperative that hoteliers proactively seeks feedback from theirguests.

It is very beautiful and nostalgic when a guestbook is displayed in the lobby, perhaps with a golden cover. However, these ratings are only seen by guests who are already in the hotel. However, 96 percent of the customer journey starts online and the potential guests usually come to the hotel website via Google. Google also displays ratings – and companies can actively claim these google-ratings from their guests by sending them a link with the polite request for an individual assessment. In addition, various tools can be used to map these online reviews on the hotel website in order to strengthen the guest’s confidence in the hotel.

In addition, a trustyou consumer survey found that guests are 3.6 times more likely to rate a stay, when actively requested by an accommodation. (Source: https://www.trustyou.com/resources/verbraucherstudie-online-feedback-management)

It is clear that ratings contribute to the reputation of a hotel and show other interested parties whether a stay is worthwhile or not. They strengthen – or weaken – the external perception and influence the image of a hotel and its brand. Hoteliers need to be aware of the importance of online reviews and develop a long-term strategy on how to catch unsatisfied guests in the hotel in order to prevent bad online reviews after the guest has left.

Online reviews have a big influence on the buying behavior of website users through the social proof

The Social Proof is a psychological phenomenon which used in many successful online shops. It is the “herd behavior” of us humans, because we mostly follow the “others do it, then I do it too” principle.

Online travel agencies such as HRS and Booking use the social proof and thus influence the booking behavior of the guests. With “already booked 26 times”, “our last rooms” or “11 people are just looking at this hotel”, the booking plattforms very successfully use the phenomenon of scarcity and social proof to push their users to book their rooms right away. The effect on the purchase decision can be described as follows: “If so many rooms have already been booked, then the hotel must be good” or “I have to book quickly, otherwise the room is gone”.

The mentioned online travel agencies but also platforms like Tripadvisor, Holidaycheck or Trivago work with ratings. The number of ratings and the score achieved is usually shown in stars, both prominently placed at the top of the website in order to be seen by the site visitors right away. In addition to the price – evaluations are an important criterion for the purchase decision of the user. The importance of ratings is underlined by another study conducted by Holidaycheck in 2019. The study states that “92 percent [of travelers] read online reviews at least 3 times a year, 46 percent of them several times a month”. In addition, “online reviews enjoy great trust: 50% trust them as much as family and friends”. (Source: https://www.holidaycheckgroup.com/news/die-psychologie-des-bewertens-studie-zum-thema-online-bewertungen/)

Excursus: Especially at the last point it becomes clear why influencer marketing is so successful. Fans and followers build a social bond to their idol or role model and the influencer gains credibility. This is why recommendations from influencers reach the public and affect their buying behavior.

Happy and satisfied guests through direct feedback and immediate problem solving

As already described in the previous article, “digital readiness” prevails today.

This also applies to online evaluations. A guest will no longer have to bother with a registration procedure with login to give a rating or laboriously click through a 10-page survey.
Keep it simple! should be the motto of hoteliers.

Airports follow that motto particularly well as they carry out their passenger satisfaction surveys very simple. They use three simple buttons with different smiley faces on in order to collect customer feedback. The passengers can give their ratings in passing in just a few seconds. Although the rating is kept highly simple taking into account just one parameter, representative assessments are made, due to the large number of passengers who use the terminals on a daily basis.

Another example for the collection of user-friendly guest feedback is Expedia. Guests who have booked via Expedia will be asked for an evaluation by the platform itself during their stay! The hotelier is informed about this via the extranet or the Expedia app and can react accordingly. But just like the sale of hotel rooms, guest feedback especially negative guest feedback should mainly remain in-house. But how can the hotelier ask for feedback in a simple and non-intrusive way?

Service Automation can be a great help here as hoteliers and hotel employees can react directly to an evaluation of a guest while her or she is still in the hotel.

An example: The service robot JEEVES supports the hotel by taking over deliveries directly to the guest’s room door. After successful delivery, he contacts the guest directly and asks if he would like to give feedback on his stay. The hotel guest can rate different things using the JEEVES touchpad:

  • Cleanliness of the room
  • sleep quality
  • Friendliness of employees
  • room furnishing
  • etc.



Of course the feedback is transmitted to the hotel staff in real time. Depending on the outcome of the evaluation, hoteliers and hotel employees – for example the Guest Relation Manager – can react directly and turn an unsatisfied guest into a happy guest. Of course, this applies not only to critical feedback, but also to praise for which the hotel manager can show gratitude.

Not only the question of direct feedback inspires hotel guests. Especially in view of the direct demand of valuation and booking portals for feedback, Service Automation is gaining. The interaction with an innovative and new product, which has not yet existed in this form, leaves a lasting impression and inspires hotel guests.

The combination of the question of guest satisfaction with an innovative and new product, the service robot JEEVES, leads to well-disposed hotel guests who like to leave a positive online evaluation and report on their stay.

Who is JEEVES? And why do I need him in my hotel?

Introduction of new technologies, creating meaningful experiences and staff retention are among the top concerns for many hotel managers. JEEVES, the first service robot for the European hotel industry helps hoteliers tackle these challenges in a remarkable way.

Technology
Guests have become more sophisticated when it comes to picking a hotel; and technology is without a doubt one of the deciding factors when booking a room. The introduction of new technologies gives hotels an advantage helping them save time and money and improving the quality of their service. You need to think outside the box when it comes to introducing new technologies and start offering experiences that will surprise your guests.

Let’s take the example of the mini bars, JEEVES can replace up to 200 mini bars in a hotel. This allows you to save on energy and gain valuable time while reducing the effort of restocking minibars once a day. Moreover, JEEVES automatically reports sales to the front desk eliminating the need for regular inventories. Finally, you are providing guests with a unique and innovative experience that will help your hotel stay up to date and improve the ratings.

Create meaningful experiences
JEEVES is room service, room shopping™, a minibar, an infotainer and a teammate. We want to change the concept of room service. JEEVES can bring to hotel guests a new shopping experience. Room service does not have to be limited to food and beverages, we propose an in-suite shopping experience with products that fit the profile of your hotel. JEEVES can bring your guests gourmet local products, premium souvenirs and fancy cosmetics.

Let’s take the example of the mini bars, JEEVES can replace up to 200 mini bars in a hotel. This allows you to save on energy and gain valuable time while reducing the effort of restocking minibars once a day. Moreover, JEEVES automatically reports sales to the front desk eliminating the need for regular inventories. Finally, you are providing guests with a unique and innovative experience that will help your hotel stay up to date and improve the ratings.

Create meaningful experiences
JEEVES is room service, room shopping™, a minibar, an infotainer and a teammate. We want to change the concept of room service. JEEVES can bring to hotel guests a new shopping experience. Room service does not have to be limited to food and beverages, we propose an in-suite shopping experience with products that fit the profile of your hotel. JEEVES can bring your guests gourmet local products, premium souvenirs and fancy cosmetics.

With JEEVES´ built-in delivery drawer only the sky is the limit. Besides room shopping it allows your front desk personnel to send items such as towels and toothbrushes to a room. The process is very simple, just place an item inside the drawer, enter the room number and press “Go”. JEEVES will find his way safely on his own.

As an infotainer JEEVES can provide guests with useful information about the hotel. Common questions that are asked at the font desk can now be redirected to JEEVES.  Where is the closest metro station? How long does it take to get to the airport? Where can I try the best local food? Is late check out available?  What time is breakfast tomorrow? JEEVES will soon be able to answer the most important questions right at the lobby.

Staff retention
Contrary to common belief our robot will not take people’s jobs. JEEVES’ main mission is to support the hotel staff in order to optimize their time. Mornings can be one of the busiest times in a hotel, guests are checking out, breakfast is being served and guests require information about how to get around the city. During moments like these JEEVES will be able to shine among the staff members. JEEVES helps hotels maximize productivity by taking over mechanical tasks, enabling staff to focus on responsibilities that bring more value to the customer’s experience.

Find here more information about JEEVES. Join the Robotise family an UpGREAT your service and guest’s experience with JEEVES, the Service Robot for the hospitality industry.

Robot Morality

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is arguably the most exciting, most recently also increasingly controversial, field in robotics. AI will outperform humans in a growing range of fields in the years to come.

The ultimate version of AI would be a recreation of the human thought process; a man-made software (bot) or machine (robot) with our intellectual abilities – including the ability to learn, reason, use language, and formulate original ideas.

Today, AI machines are able to replicate some specific elements of intellectual ability or understanding. As a consequence, humans and (ro)bots are working much more closely together than ever before. Firstly, we’ll see increasingly collaborative robots, aka “cobots”, which are working with humans hand-in-hand on the factory floor. Secondly, computer programs that talk like humans, aka “bots” or “chatbots”, are approachable as if you hold a conversation with another human to accomplish a task. The future is machine and human.

This all relates to the subject of the Technological Singularity.* The singularity will come after a time when our technological creations exceed the “computing power”, or intelligence of the human brain.

Singularitarians say that we simply cannot fathom what such a future would be like. However, an essential question will become “How can we teach the concept of ethics to (ro)bots, how do we ensure AI behaves morally”? This is what is referred to as “Good AI”.

From a neuroscientist’s perspective, (ro)bots shall learn more from human development. For example, we teach children concepts of morality before we teach them more complex ideas like algebra. After they are able to conduct themselves appropriately in social situations, we go on to teach them language skills and things that require reasoning that is more complex. We plan to follow the same pattern with AI. What we decide to create is up to us.

“We can’t retrofit morality and ethics. We need to focus on that first and build it into (ro)bots’ core. The real problem of (ro)bot morality is not the (ro)bots, but us. It starts with company ethics and people behavior. The greater the freedom of a man or machine, the more it needs and will need moral standards”.

We here at Robotise make the field of robotics, and specifically that of robots safe to interact with. The way our robots operate ensures that our customer can collaborate with them in many ways. Also, all data is kept secure and private, meaning you own your personal data.

Oliver Stahl

* Technological Singularity was a term coined by Vernor Vinge, the science fiction author, in 1983. “We will soon create intelligences greater than our own,” he wrote. “When this happens, human history will have reached a kind of singularity, an intellectual transition as impenetrable as the knotted space-time at the center of a black hole, and the world will pass far beyond our understanding.”

How the Story Began

Robotise started up near the end of 2015 out of the Technical University Munich. At this time, software was already enabling service robots to leave the factory setting behind and to transition into the everyday lives of people. Soon enough, people will be interacting with service robots every day, which makes design a critical component to moving them successfully out of factories and into the real world. These robots need to be secure and enjoyable to interact with and most importantly, they need to make an economic contribution.

It took several dozen interviews, starting at airports, care homes, and hospitals to finally arrive at hotels, to formulate a simple but distinguished question: Why maintain hundreds of separate minibars (one in each room), if you can have one minibar that comes to every room? This makes for almost a 100-fold increase in efficiency for hotels. That’s where our story begins.

The AMR Got New Paint Job, Delivers Coffee

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Our first prototype is now fully working and can even deliver coffee. In the top right hand corner of the screen, one can see the map of the office, which the robot generates completely on its own. This video also demonstrates the robot’s safety features, which cause it to stop when a person walks in its path.

Our Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) Prototype is Ready

After 5 months of designing, long nights of programming, and hard work in our workshop, our prototype has finally been finished! It is currently controlled by a remote controller, with our next step being to get it moving autonomously by way of our custom navigation software.

How Robots See the World

With the use of onboard sensors, the robot is able to detect objects and other items in its surroundings to construct a “map” of the world. This map is then used to autonomously by the robot to navigate its environment.

Welcome to the Robotise Blog

Robotise was founded with the mission of taking robots out of the research lab and into the real world with one simple goal in mind: To make the world a better place with robotics.