Jul 13, 2022 / AUS / Solution
Service to make you smile: KEENBOT the AI-powered robot is here to solve the Australian hospitality talent crunch
SoftBank Robotics reimagines food service through smart technology and automation,
introducing Keenbot to the Australian market
SYDNEY, Australia, July 12, 2022 – The Australian hospitality industry is bouncing back from forced closures and restrictions throughout the pandemic, but now it has to redefine itself in the face of a manpower crunch. SoftBank Robotics Group Corp. (SBR) has today announced the launch of the tray delivery robot, Keenbot. Supplied by GERMii Australia, Keenbot is now available in Australia – and is set to address staffing issues and help revitalise the service industry. GERMii Australia is working closely with customers across the hospitality industry to help fill service gaps and keep the smile on customers faces.
Keenbot, by KEENON Robotics, is a tray serving robot designed to automate food service. It is intended for use in tandem with human capabilities, giving businesses a helping hand in delivering efficient and consistent customer service. Equipped with multi-point delivery modes, Keenbot can deliver four dishes at one time and its maximum tray loading capacity takes the weight off human wait staff, freeing them up to manage other tasks and focus on serving customers.
In successful a pre-launch trial, Softbank Robotics partner, GERMii Australia, deployed Keenbot at the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park, where it is already proving an invaluable addition to the team. Joe Poovaiya, Director of Food and Beverage, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park says, “The service industry, particularly the F&B sector, is only just getting back on its feet following the pandemic and is now facing a new challenge of skills shortage. We have been using robotic technology and solutions in our business to increase our productivity, and now we have introduced Keenbot to our customer-facing food service operations. At first it was quite a novelty, but staff and customers have quickly adapted and welcomed Keenbot. We do not expect these cobots to replace the total human element in our service, but rather, we hope for these cobots to further complement and enhance our service efficiency.”
With self-developed indoor navigation technology for absolute accuracy, Keenbot can map delivery routes to use the shortest path, even in busy, complex scenarios, ensuring that dishes are delivered fast, and fresh. Inbuilt shock absorbers and a real-time collision detection sensor help Keenbot avoid obstacles and unexpected situations reducing the risk of trips, bumps and spills often faced by waiters during peak hours. Keenbot has a cruise delivery mode making it convenient for customers to take meals from the tray themselves, and with auto-charge functionality this server can operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, ideal for filling gaps in the roster or covering extra break times during a busy shift.
Kenichi Yoshida, Chief Business Officer, SoftBank Robotics Group Corp. said, “At SoftBank Robotics we are all about leveraging the technologies to create better solutions. We are excited to introduce Keenbot in Australia to help support the hospitality industry as it refreshes the service sector with innovative solutions that will increase restaurants’ efficiency in customer service and deliver new experiences to their diners. We believe the hospitality industry is set to unlock new potential in the use of AI, robotics and automation to accelerate the service standard.”
Derren Wong, Head of Sales, KEENON Robotics, Australia adds: “At KEENON, we offer a wide range of products and automation solutions to meet various business needs. The dynamic hospitality landscape has propelled the demand for contactless service. We are delighted to be part of the Australian hospitality industry transformation with the complimentary collaborative approach of cobots, from waiters in restaurants to robotic concierges in hotels, leading to improvements in terms of speed, cost-effectiveness, and overall guest experience.“
As official Keenbot supplier in Australia, GERMii Australia is working closely with customers across the hospitality industry to help fill service gaps. “GERMii is a 100% Australian owned technology and services company, and we’re thrilled to be helping the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park supplement their teams to provide outstanding service to guests,” said Harold Van Haltren, CEO, GERMii Australia. “Our customers are all very happy with the outcomes of increased productivity and service delivery. Happy customers are return customers.“
GERMii is an Australian headquartered engineering science and innovation company, driving exciting change in the fight against pathogens such as COVID-19 through the design, development, manufacturing, and distribution of market first UV-C technology. GERMii is changing the way organisations tackle pathogen mitigation, removing the need for harsh chemicals and antivirals with clinically proven, independently verified UV-C handhelds, robotics modules, autoclave chambers and air conditioning technology. GERMii’s Robotics division is tackling staffing and productivity challenges in Australia and abroad through the integration of smart cobots, that deliver automation to support not replace humans, allowing staff to focus on more human centric tasks and deliver better service to customers.
Founded in 2010, KEENON ROBOTICS offers intelligent, reliable, and convenient solutions for various scenarios including restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, supermarkets, and factories. In September 2021, KEENON completed a $200M Series D financing led by Softbank Vision Fund 2 (SVF2), marking the largest funding ever received by a service robot company. Keenon robots have been deployed in more than 60 countries. For more information, please visit www.keenon.com.