BellBoy

Our team came into this project looking at the current market of service robots and we really wanted to do something revolutionary. Service robots have almost become like white lab coats, to many people they are creepy. To this end we set out to make a new kind of service robot featuring the contemporary styling available in most nice hotels today.

There are 4 main parts to the BellBoy experience

1

The main part of the customer experience is the BellBoy iPad app. This app can run over a hotel's wifi intranet and doesn't require internet access. Guests can order everything they could possibly need 24 hours a day. They simply give their room number and last name and the app will customize itself to their room's experience. They can order room service and place orders for room service. They can even have their luggage brought to them or back to a luggage check-in. Whenever a delivery is completed the guest will be notified on their iPad. They can also check the status of their order and see an estimated arrival time through the BellBoy app.

2

The second part of the BellBoy platform are the staff of BellBoy robots. Our v1 device we developed is smaller and can deliver room service, ice, towels, or toiletries. The devices are scalable and we have plans to build up larger scale models that can deliver everything from luggage to cots. We built our v1 on the Vex robotics platform and the routes are programmed into arduinos. We also designed our robot with contemporary styling that mixes traditional plastic with stretched cloth and makes a robot that you could imagine in any modern American hotel or cruise experience.

3

The third part of the BellBoy experience goes on behind the scenes. Each BellBoy has a raspberry-Pi which interfaces with a locally deployed BlueMix IOT server. When an order is received from the iPad app the nearest available BellBoy is deployed and programmed with a route.

4

Finally, is one of my favorite parts of the BellBoy experience. Each robot has an iPad mounted on it which runs the BellBoy customer engagement experience. It was important to make a very friendly BellBoy which can greet guests and also politely let guests know to be careful who get close to BellBoy. It can also be used to monitor the device and locate the BellBoy. It also is a customer engagement platform. At multiple steps along a delivery BellBoy will stop and wait for human interaction. It will wait with a delivery outside a hotel room and can send notifications to the guests BellBoy app until a guest comes out and interacts with BellBoy. It also can wait outside a kitchen for example for a room service delivery and will wait till a staff member interacts with BellBoy and sends it on its way. All this data is sent to the guests iPad app and will keep them informed in real time on the estimated arrival and status of their orders. We also designed the BellBoy face with the service robot industry in mind. Many robots are given human like faces and many customers have responded negatively to this trend. We instead designed a modern interface modeled after the digital like typeface many have come to associate with electronics.

Conclusion

Overall, BellBoy has the potential to revolutionize the hospitality industry. In our world where everything is expected instantly, BellBoys are a natural progression of the industry. They are a scalable solution that can immediately improve the efficiency and economy of the hotel industry. It also has many design features which respond to the current status of service robotics. Find your better than home away from home with BellBoy.

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