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Hotels Turn To Robots As Human Workers Regroup

In the current era, labor is dear. In the crisis, hotels turn to robots.


(The Garden City Hotel on Long Island invested in two robot vacuums)

This holiday season at the Garden City Hotel on Long Island, Merle Ayers is feeling especially grateful for the Whiz.

At two feet tall and 66 pounds, the powerful robot vacuum doesn't mind working late into the night after the parties are over. The Whiz doesn't care that it's the holidays. It doesn't even need a day off.

"It just needs to be cared for. We have to change the vacuum bags periodically and keep the batteries charged," says Ayers, the hotel's director of banquets.

Amid ongoing staffing shortages, the two robot vacuums the hotel purchased late last year for about $30,000 each are proving their worth many times over, filling gaps in both the catering department and housekeeping.

Fans of Harry Harrison may recall the Robotnik from his 1970 novel The Stainless Steel Rat's Revenge:

As soon as we had landed and our baggage had been disgorged, a robocab took us to the Dosadan-GIup Robotnik. This was the local branch of a planet-wide chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service. Everything was mechanized and computerized. Human beings presumably visited them once in a while to check the gauges and empty the tills, but I had never seen one although I had used these hotels quite often, for many obvious reasons. I had occasionally seen other guests entering or leaving but we had avoided each other's gaze like plague carriers. The Robotniks were islands of privacy in a sea of staring eyes.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/13/2023)

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