Is The Future of Room Service Really Robots?


The next time you request extra toiletries to be delivered to your hotel room, you may be surprised by the delivery method. Gone are the days of disgruntled employees racing around to hundreds of hotel rooms with each phone call to the front desk; robots are taking over the hotel industry by storm.

Savioke’s friendly room service robot named Relay has made its way into both hotels and hearts. Relay is a quick and efficient solution to customer service that ensures speediness, accuracy, and a friendly robotic smile.

A “locker on wheels”, Relay charges at the front desk until it is needed to make a delivery. Once a request for an item is made to the hotel staff (think late night room service, a phone charger, or a bag of chips from the convenience store – all are my go-to’s), the items are loaded into the robot and the suite number is programmed into the touch screen. Relay will display wording such as “on route for a delivery” so that others passing by will know it has a job to do. Relay will call the guest before arrival so they know to expect it (Relay doesn’t have hands to knock – as of yet!). The guests collect their items, and then are asked to rate the service and stay while Relay blinks and smiles, then returns to the lobby for another delivery.

Savioke claim Relay cuts delivery time in half, and the stats speak for itself. Relay is already in action in 12 major hotel chains, including Hilton and Holiday Inn. In fact, hotel guests are ordering things they don’t necessarily need in order to interact with the little robot. The financial benefits of introducing Relay do not rest solely on the food service industry; there has been an increase in room bookings during the off-season period, mainly due to customers hearing about Relay.


The possibilities are endless with the introduction of Robot technology in a hotel atmosphere. With a satisfactory test run at many hotel chains, Savioke is working on what the future for Relay will look like. Relay will soon include face recognition, allowing it to remember you after meeting (a friendly hello from a robot in passing? I’m in.), a variety of different interactions to “humanise” it more, and the navigation of city roads to fetch items outside the hotel. Have your Indian food order from Hungry House picked up from the lobby and delivered to your door, or have your Amazon order picked up from the local Amazon warehouse while away on holiday.

Relay, along with its many future prototypes to hit the market once requests come in from different stakeholders, will change the face of customer service forever. The hotel industry will benefit from having robots taking care of menial tasks, all with precision and speediness. Whatever the case, I look forward to having a little robot friend greet me in the lobby when I book my next hotel.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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