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Innnovation Advice

The Cube: Service Robots for your Customers

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

As a Cube insider, you'll get access to interesting new trends, what we think about them and how you can benefit.

New Trend: Customers interact with sensor-enabled robots

As robotic technology advances, the use of robots is trending up and may eventually become a norm in modern life. Robots, like humans, have different senses such as artificial hearing, artificial vision, and artificial touch.

  • Robots use artificial vision made from digital cameras inside of the robot to compute a virtual description of their environment.

  • They use artificial touch through sensors on the outside of the robot that measure pressure and/or electrical conductivity.

  • Artificial hearing is used by robots with internal microphones located on the robot.

  • Some robots have touchpads or tablets attached to them and some are voice activated and controlled.

New Insight: Labor Market is Driving Robot Adoption

Robots are a way for business owners and operators to help employees get more done throughout their day. Some of these robots are not fully autonomous and are unable to operate without employees nearby to help assist the process. This can be a benefit as customers and employees get used to the transition of the service robot.

Many investors and business owners across different industries are automating tasks with the help from robots. Today, some robots operate nearly autonomously without human interaction and are solely in back rooms, warehouses, or used after hours to clean. In other cases, robots are customer facing, they take orders, deliver food or other items, buss tables, or perform guest recovery and alert employees if human service is required. The pandemic has sped the automation process along as more companies adapt to a changing environment and labor market. Many markets such as restaurants and hospitality have witnessed what studies have shown: customers show great acceptance to service robots.

In some restaurants and hotels, people are able to order food or drinks from a robot waiter. Full service restaurants are now operating with 6.2 fewer employees than in 2019. This is likely caused by two factors: the pandemic and advancing technological solutions. A clear indicator of this is a survey that says 50% of restaurant operators plan to implement some form of automation in the next 2-3 years. In November 2021, one million restaurant and hotel workers quit their jobs, this surely will lead to an increase in customer facing robots.

New Action: Defining and Selecting the Robots

When thinking about automation and robotics to assist your company it is important to keep in mind your business operations and industry.

  1. Select the type of robot that is most appropriate for your business

    1. Industrial (articulate) robot - used for manufacturing and packaging

    2. Service robot - customer facing and can carry packages depending on the size of the robot

    3. Cleaning robot - robots customized for cleaning of specific surfaces

  2. Identify leading competitors in your specific robot type and hone in on desired features of your robot

  3. Vet, Select, and Begin using your robot!

  4. Identify benefits, drawbacks, and collect feedback from your team and your customers.

Are you ready to explore robot technology? We can help you evaluate the market and determine the best next steps. If you are interested in learning technologies can help your company, N³ Innovation can help you! Contact us today!

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