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The Robots Are Coming to Las Vegas


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Robot arms fixing drinks.

Las Vegas hotels are experimenting with robots and other automation.

Credit: Joe Buglewicz/NPR

Las Vegas hotels are experimenting with robots and other automation to better meet customers' needs.

Examples include dog-like delivery robots at the Vdara Hotel and Spa, whose repertoire includes delivering food from the cafe to guestrooms, remotely calling for an elevator, and alerting guests when they arrive at their room via an automated phone message.

Other deployments include robot bartenders at the Tipsy Robot bar in the Miracle Mile shops at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, which general manager Victor Reza Valanejad says has not led to the elimination of jobs for humans, but to hiring more employees as robot operators.

MGM Resorts International's Cliff Atkinson says machines will very likely become "lobby ambassadors" as the front desk is eliminated and guests demand more customized service experiences.

There are concerns that automation will cause job attrition in the hospitality industry, especially among women and minorities, but advocates promise opportunities to retrain employees to work with automation.

From NPR
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