IN A recent blog post, Gulliver expressed his exasperation at having to interact with other humans when he stayed at hotels. After all, in the age of mobile check-in and automated bartenders, it must be possible to swerve most of these pointless encounters (and avoid having to hand over tips for the most mundane services, such as pouring a beer or being shown to your room).

One solution that didn’t occur to him was robot butlers. The M Social Singapore hotel is introducing a droid that can deliver room service to guests. It navigates using 3D cameras and can negotiate lifts and manoeuvre around people wandering down the corridors. The M Social is far from the first establishment to employ such robots. The machine, called Relay (pictured), which is made by Savioke, a Californian firm, already does shifts at some Aloft and Residence Inn hotels.

Tom Breedon, the general manager of the Residence Inn at Los Angeles airport, says using the robot for deliveries increases revenue per available room, a key industry measure, by…Continue reading