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Webinar: Robots in the Hospitality Industry: Adopting New Technologies While Maintaining the Human Touch

This webinar was recorded on October 20, 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic has reimagined the hotel and restaurant experience. As face-to-face interaction has necessarily been reduced, touchless transactions and environments have increased. These technological responses to the pandemic help instill confidence in guests and give them a strong sense of safety, trust, and well-being — but only if they are done right. When an industry known for friendliness and warmth adopts new contactless service measures, there is a risk that the human touch will be lost.

The good news is that automation has already been proven to be both effective and service minded. Nearly 35 years after Isaac Asimov's short-story collection "Robot Dreams," robots are being utilized in the hospitality sector to provide room service, vacuum hallways, sanitize surfaces, and so much more.

In this session, we'll explore the capabilities and limitations of increased automation in an industry that traditionally prides itself on meaningful personal interaction..


  • How COVID-19 is revamping the emphasis on human interaction
  • The ways that robots are already being effectively utilized in the hospitality sector
  • How some of our wildest ideas about robots may be closer to reality than we think
  • An overview of technological advances that are increasing safety while lowering costs
  • Some of the key advantages of relying on robotics as well as the major obstacles to implementing them into the hospitality industry


  • Dave Sherwyn, John and Melissa Ceriale Professor of Hospitality Human Resources, director of the Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations, & co-director of the Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship, School of Hotel Administration
  • Linda Pouliet, founder, Dishcraft
  • Steve Rimmer, deals principal, PwC
  • Peter Seiff, CEO, Aethon

Webinar: Robots in the Hospitality Industry: Adopting New Technologies While Maintaining the Human Touch is organized by Cornell

Erica Heim
Senior Program Manager
Phone: +1 607 255 6574
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