Chinese e-commerce and technology giant Alibaba has unveiled its latest project – a robotic waiter used to carry items around hotels.
Called the Space Egg, the small autonomous bot is a curved shell on wheels that uses lasers and cameras to navigate hotel corridors and can carry items between rooms and other parts of the hotel.
The robot works with Tmall Genie, Alibaba’s virtual assistant that is integrated into its smart speakers and will be placed in hotel rooms, enabling guests to order items via the assistant and then have them delivered by the bot.
Service industry robots are becoming more and more common – LG has already created a range of the helpers, including machines designed to help waiters in restaurants and another to guide passengers around airports.
In a statement on the company’s website, Chen Lijuan, the head of Alibaba’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory said service robots “will help shorten the time difference between the demand and the hotel response”, improving efficiency.