Robi – the hotel robot for the 25hours Hotel The Circle in Cologne – had to prove himself, his actual training is now beginning. The Circle welcomes a new apprentice: Hotel robot Robi finishes his traineeship.
After an extensive testing phase, in which Robi – the hotel robot for the 25hours Hotel The Circle in Cologne – had to prove himself, his actual training is now beginning. The next three years will see Robi, a machine equipped with artificial intelligence, further refine his abilities as a host. He is already fulfilling the most important task – entertaining the guests – to the satisfaction of his boss, General Manager, Nils Jansen who said, “Robi greets all visitors in the lobby and asks whether they have had a good trip and asks where they are from.
He also asks, “Do you want to take a selfie with me?” A guided tour of the hotel with information about the different room categories and the sauna is also no problem for Robi. He will take guests to see the meeting rooms on the ground floor and tell them everything there is to know about the space: from the opening times of the NENI Deli to the shop (“Do you need a gift for your loved ones?”).
Our human machine also speaks two languages. Robi is able to easily communicate in German and English. He is even a master of nonverbal communication (he’s an excellent dancer)! But there’s so much more to this likeable robot. Robbi introduces the NENI Restaurant and the Monkey Bar and will even show guests the available room categories in the hotel on request. But Robi also proves to be proficient outside the four walls of his hotel. Just like his human colleagues he can provide theatre and restaurant tips, describe the route to the airport, provide information about events and functions, and be called upon as a guide.
Any visitor who is interested in the special history of the hotel building, the Gerling Quartier in the Friesenviertelor the interior designers from Studio Aisslinger, can look forward to Robi’s insights. Jansen adds, “Trainee Robi is a quirky addition for us, and he still has a lot to learn. He can’t replace a real human, though.” Robi was built by his “robot father,” Ulrich Reiser of mojin robotics, who manufactures and produces all his components near Stuttgart.
This robot was originally developed in 1998 by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart. Robi is the fourth generation of the Care-O-bot 4 series: A user-centred design with its high mobility and expressiveness, made possible by the patented ball-andsocket joint, give the robot its unique characteristics. The smart robot’s autonomous navigation software allow it to reliably guide guests throughout the hotel. Robi will also be able to order a taxi or reserve a table at NENI in the near future. These and other wishes and questions from the guests will be passed on by the hotel staff to mojin, who will then program the requested features accordingly.