PITTSBURGH – Aethon today announced it was expanding its line of autonomous mobile robots with two specialty robots designed for the hospitality market. The new products will be showcased next week’s HITEC 2019 show, June 17-20, in Minneapolis.
Aethon, a division of ST Engineering, will demonstrate the T4G, a mobile robot “designed to delight guests and streamline front of house operations by automating deliveries to guest rooms and other public areas of the hotel,” the company said in its announcement. The autonomous robot can navigate around the hotel and provide on-demand services, including delivery of goods that include food, personal items, packages, and supplies.
Aethon said the T4G can help address staffing shortages and rising labor rates in the hotel industry, while at the same time provide guests with new experiences and enhancing their privacy and security. The robot was designed to be human-centered and easy for guests to use, Aethon said, with a sleek and modern exterior that can be customized to match different interiors and branding schemes for hotels. Payloads can be easily reconfigured to provide different cabinet form factors and delivery options, including the ability to make multiple secured deliveries in a single trip, the company added.
“We believe robotics are becoming an important part of the hotel landscape,” said Mike Lerman, general manager of the AC Hotel by Marriott San Jose Santa Clara, which will be the first hotel in the country to deploy the new robots. “We wanted to work with a company who had proven experience deploying mobile robotics, but also one with an innovation pipeline of products designed for hoteliers. Aethon was the only company who had both experience and a pipeline of innovative products. They have been an outstanding partner for our two new franchise hotels.”
At the HITEC show, Aethon said it will also demonstrate the T4, designed to provide automation for the heart-of-house operations, which includes housekeeping and event services. The T4 mobile robot automates delivery functions through cart pickup, transportation, and delivery of payloads up to 250 lbs. The company said it will show the T4 with an innovative cart and bin configuration that changes housekeeping and room turnover procedures, in addition to enhancing safety for housekeeping staff and improving the hotel’s operational efficiency.
Joins existing line of mobile robots
The T4 and T4G add to Aethon’s existing T3 line of robots with models capable of delivering up to 1,400 lbs. The company said its installed base of robots travel more than 5 million miles per year, making deliveries in hospital, hospitality, and industrial locations. The company’s original TUG robots were designed for similar materials handling deliveries within hospital locations.
“Hospitality is an exciting new market for us,” said Aldo Zini, president of Aethon. “There are many applications across the hospitality landscape including hotels, but also extending to convention centers, casinos, event and sporting venues, and even high-rise residences,” he added. “We believe the factors of security, privacy, convenience, and efficiency are all strong motivators and benefits to mobile robotic technology.”