Mittens is the new cat-like robot waiter in The Gravel Pit Brasserie at the Waterfront Hotel on the Wyboston Lakes Resort. The hotel is the first in the UK to invest in a state-of-the-art robot waiter, which has been programmed to deliver food from the kitchen to the serving team in the dining area.
Steve Jones, Managing Director of Wyboston Lakes Resort, said: “Automation has been a major focus at Wyboston Lakes Resort in the last few years and has solely served to support our teams and enhance the guest experience. Following a one-month trial, Mittens is our latest addition. Customers are still served by our brasserie team; however, they no longer need to run back and forth to the kitchen to collect food, making more time to spend with customers to deliver great service.
“The response from our team members has been overwhelmingly positive because the robot is highly functional, improves efficiencies, and has made their jobs easier. Customers have found the robot very entertaining, too.”
Pudu Robotics is the company behind the ‘Bellabot’ robot, which has the face of a cat and has been affectionately named ‘Mittens’ by the Wyboston team. It can sing, talk, purr, show a range of facial expressions, and enjoys a pet on the head. It will even get a bit sassy if deliberately disrupted!
The interactive robot is lightweight and travels steadily at an average walking pace taking up to four large trays of food at a time. It uses a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to manoeuvre safely through the brasserie and around tables, chairs, and co-workers. A display screen can be programmed with key messages.
To set up the robot, the Pudu Robotics team visited Wyboston Lakes Resort to map out the brasserie area using laser scanning technology. Pudu used the brasserie table plan so the robot can be programmed to move directly to a designated zone where the team then take the food and serve the customer.
Pudu also mapped out the function area, so Mittens – or any future robots that may be added – can also be used to support the team in this space.
Rickie Kitt, Hotel Operations Manager, added: “Mittens gets all the attention and is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face, so I put up with her being bossy if I get in her way!”