Innovation That Matters

Alibaba service robot

Hospitality robot serves hotel guests


A multinational organisation specialising in e-commerce and AI has launched a new service robot at The Computing Conference 2018 in Hangzhou, China.

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With the capability of robots expanding more than ever before, their usefulness is impacting every industry. The Chinese military have even deployed underwater robots to expand the country’s naval power. Elsewhere, wall-climbing robots are helping create more efficient and speedy industrial safety checks. Such innovations are transforming tasks, boosting productivity and proving to be a cost-saving tool for businesses. Robots have proven to be particularly useful in work environments where tasks are time consuming, repetitive or require heavy lifting. Places of work such as warehouses have particularly reaped the benefits of the robotic revolution.

A new robot has now entered the market, this time targeting the hospitality industry. At this year’s Computing Conference, Alibaba has announced the launch of it’s new service robots. The team at A.I. Labs, the leading consumer AI product development department at Alibaba, have created a service robot that can do everything from delivering meals to taking laundry to guests. Guests can talk to the robot via voice command, touch and hand gesture. The robots’ responses are driven by AliGenie, the software that powers Alibaba A.I. Labs’ smart speaker called Tmall Genie.

The technology behind the robot combines aluminium casing with multi-sensor data functionality and parallel computing for lightning quick responses. It also includes a semantic map, autonomous navigation system to identify obstacles, communication systems to control elevators, and identity verification via facial-recognition technology. The robot is less than 1 metre tall and its walking speed reaches one meter per second. After a trial at a hotel, Alibaba A.I. Labs will assess its suitability for other areas such as hospitals, restaurants and office services. How could a robot such as the new creation by Alibaba help boost productivity in your workspace?



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