Relay robot by Savioke

Relay robot in a hospitality setting. Image courtesy of Savioke.

Oct 04, 2017

A robot named “Relay” is expected to attract more than 100 hospitality executives from around the state when it makes its debut in Central Oregon at an event hosted by Oregon State University – Cascades on Monday, October 9.

The event is a hospitality technology showcase led by Todd Montgomery, the executive-in-residence in OSU-Cascades’ hospitality management program.  It will be held in conjunction with the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association’s annual convention in Bend.  The showcase features demonstrations of Relay, a robot developed by Savioke to handle room deliveries in a hotel or resort setting. A technology company, Savioke designs robots to work in human environments.

The showcase will include a presentation by OSU College of Engineering robotics professor Bill Smart, whose research focuses on improving interactions between people and robots. OSU’s graduate robotics program was recently ranked as fourth in the nation by Grad School Hub.

The national hospitality industry’s changing landscape, as well as technology innovations in robotics prompted leaders of the OSU-Cascades hospitality management program to require coursework in service automation. It also prompted collaborations with industry technology companies like Savioke, in order to provide real world examples for both students and professionals.

“Great customer service, and effective staff management and motivation will continue to be key pillars within the hospitality industry,” said Montgomery, who is also the Robin and Curt Baney Faculty Scholar for Teaching Excellence in Hospitality Management. “However, future executives and entrepreneurs in our industry will also need skills to leverage and manage technology in an increasingly automated industry.” 

Also expected to attend the showcase are students in hospitality management, business and computer science at OSU-Cascades, as well as faculty who teach in those programs, and area technology and robotic professionals.

The hospitality management program at OSU-Cascade was created in response to local and state hospitality leaders’ call for the development of a strong workforce and for professional development opportunities for industry employees. Students in the program study business management, service delivery and operations management, food and beverage operations, technology within the hospitality sector, and entrepreneurship.

The showcase will take place from 5:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the dining building on the OSU-Cascades campus at 1500 SW Chandler Ave. in Bend. To learn more visit http://osucascades.edu/hospitality-technology-showcase.

About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s campus in Bend, Ore., features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Nearly 20 undergraduate majors, 30 minors and options, and four graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism, recreation and adventure leadership. The branch campus expanded to a four-year university in 2015; its new campus opened in 2016.