Cornell University

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Robots in the Hospitality Industry: Adopting New Technologies While Maintaining the Human Touch

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Virtual Event

Event Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic has reimagined the hotel and restaurant experience. As face-to-face interaction has necessarily been reduced, touchless transactions and environments have increased. These technological responses to the pandemic help instill confidence in guests and give them a strong sense of safety, trust, and well-being — but only if they are done right. When an industry known for friendliness and warmth adopts new contactless service measures, there is a risk that the human touch will be lost.

The good news is that automation has already been proven to be both effective and service minded. Nearly 35 years after Isaac Asimov’s short-story collection “Robot Dreams,” robots are being utilized in the hospitality sector to provide room service, vacuum hallways, sanitize surfaces, and so much more.

In this session, we’ll explore the capabilities and limitations of increased automation in an industry that traditionally prides itself on meaningful personal interaction. Register here.

What You’ll Learn

  • How COVID-19 is revamping the emphasis on human interaction
  • The ways that robots are already being effectively utilized in the hospitality sector
  • How some of our wildest ideas about robots may be closer to reality than we think
  • An overview of technological advances that are increasing safety while lowering costs
  • Some of the key advantages of relying on robotics as well as the major obstacles to implementing them into the hospitality industry


Speakers will include Peter Seiff, CEO, ST Engineering, Aethon; Steve Rimmer, Principal, PwC; Linda Pouliot, Founder & CEO, Dishcraft Robotics; David Sherwyn, Professor, Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

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