KT, South Korea’s largest telecom company, has dispatched an artificial intelligence-based autonomous concierge robot to a hotel in Seoul to provide convenient services in place of human workers who should bear the burden of rushing through corridors to deliver food and amenities at the request of guests.
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“N bot”, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based autonomous concierge robot, was first showcased at this year’s MWC, an annual mobile communication device and technology fair, in February. In a showcase event, the telecom company used “GiGA Genie”, an AI voice assistant platform, to order room services.
KT said in a statement on Monday that the commercialized service of N bot began to provide convenient accommodation services at Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences in Seoul. Hotel guests can order food and amenities by using a GiGA Genie panel installed inside the room’s wall. The AI voice assistant platform supports four languages — Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese.
When an order is made, N bot will navigate around the hotel using its 5G connection and 3D-mapping technology to pick up and deliver food to a designated room. One robot was deployed at the hotel to cover about 100 rooms. It will use passenger elevators to move between floors.
“We think that a single N bot will be able to cover 100 rooms. We plan to add more if necessary,” KT’s PR assistant manager Shin Ji-won told Aju Business Daily. She said the concierge robot will mainly carry out chores such as delivering towels and food.
The use of service robots at South Korea’s service industry has increased thanks to the establishment of 4G and 5G networks that seamlessly connect services robots to control towers.
In December last year, Yujin Robot, a local industrial and commercial robot maker, partnered with the robotics wing of Hanwha Group to jointly develop automatized service robots for factories, hotels, hospitals and restaurants. Yujin Robot’s service robots have been deployed at hospitals to deliver medications to patients.
Woowa Brothers, the operator of South Korea’s popular food delivery service app Baedal Minjok, has launched a waiter robot rental program for restaurants with Dilly, a food delivery robot that can carry food to customers and return dishes and trays back to the kitchen. The on-road food delivery version of Dilly, deployed at a university campus in Seoul for a test project in October, can deliver 12 drinks or six sandwiches at a time.