RobotLAB Inc. today announced that it will sell and integrate Bear Robotics Inc.'s Servi and Servi Plus robots for the restaurant and hospitality industries. RobotLAB recently launched what it claimed was the first robotics integration franchise program.
“Our expertise in integrating robots into commercial environments and Bear Robotics' state-of-the-art products make this partnership a perfect match that will enhance the restaurant and hospitality industries across the country,” said Elad Inbar, CEO of RobotLAB, in a press release.
Founded in 2007, RobotLAB said it has provided thousands of robots to companies of all sizes in industries including foodservice, banking, assisted living, education, cleaning, delivery, and hospitals. The Walnut Creek, Calif.-based company said it helps businesses address labor challenges by overseeing all aspects of the robotics adoption process, from assessing client needs and sales to customization, on-site integration, and repairs.
Bear Robotics deploys Servi with big brands
“We are thrilled to partner with RobotLAB and offer our Servi and Servi Plus robots to their clients in the hospitality industry,” stated Juan Jigueros, co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) of Bear Robotics. “With RobotLAB's expertise in integrating robots into commercial environments and our advanced service robots, we look forward to transforming the industry and improving the customer experience.”
Restaurant experts and technology entrepreneurs founded Bear Robotics in 2017. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company manufactures self-driving indoor robots to assist employees with daily tasks.
The Servi Plus model also includes responsive lighting, an expanded 16-plus dish capacity, and an 88-lb. payload to cover large restaurants and busy periods. Both robots are National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)-certified and can be integrated into any service industry workflow while adhering to all health code and compliance standards, said Bear Robotics.
The company said Servi is currently deployed in partnership with major brands such as Google, Pepsi, Denny’s, and Marriott.
RobotLAB helps maintain service robot ROI
RobotLAB claimed that it helps customers improve employee retention, deliver returns on investment (ROI), and ensure operational consistency. In March, LG Business Solutions USA said it chose RobotLAB to support its CLOi ServeBot and GuideBot in commercial venues across the U.S.
LG has deployed more than 2,000 robots globally, particularly in Asia, and it has been working with RobotLAB for over a year, said Tom Carroll, director of business development at LG Business Solutions USA.
“LG has good guidance and customer-service robots and was looking to deploy, sell, and service them,” Inbar told Robotics 24/7. “We have experience in the hospitality market and our team trained at LG headquarters in Korea on how to repair the robots.”
RobotLAB is supporting LG's CLOi ServeBot across the U.S. Source: Business Wire
“As mobile devices, robots collect dirt—we call them 'Chewbacca' because they collect so much hair—and someone needs to clean them like a car, especially if they're serving food,” he added. “Sometimes we can replace sensors, motors, or joints on site; sometimes they go to the lab for a deeper repair.”
How much software integration is necessary?
“It depends on the type of service,” Inbar replied. “A robot serving food or bussing tables doesn't need too much integration. We typically make a map, determine the angles to serve at each table, and let the restaurant team handle the rest.”
“It's more involved with customer-service robots like GuideBot,” he added. “We typically create an app for the robots with all the options, such as location-based information and advertising for a shopping mall or an airport.”
“The third tier integrates with customer infrastructure, such as warehouse order management and enterprise resource planning systems,” explained Inbar. “A cleaning robot in an airport is different from a disinfection robot in a hospital. You have to find out what each customer needs.”
Franchise program open to entrepreneurs
Last month, RobotLAB launched a robotics integration franchising program to serve growing demand. It is available in 40 states, and the company said it expects the remainder to clear before the end of 2023.
RobotLAB said the program is intended to increase access to robotics and artificial intelligence across the U.S. The company said it “boasts minimal overhead, comprehensive online and in-person training, limited staffing requirements, and attractive revenue opportunities in a fast-growing industry with limitless potential.”
In addition, the integration program’s low cost of entry and thorough training makes it suitable for entrepreneurs looking to enter the franchising world, as well as experienced franchisees wanting to diversify their portfolios, said RobotLAB. The company recently retained Powerhouse+Co. for public relations.
Last week, RobotLAB signed Requis Inc. as exclusive partners in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth territory, which includes more than 120,000 businesses and 7 million residents.
“As franchisees and small-business owners ourselves, we are acutely aware of the struggles that plague businesses, like labor shortages and increasing economic headwinds, because we are dealing with those same challenges across our own portfolio,” said Prashant Nagrath, president and COO of Requis. “Through our new RobotLAB partnership, we’re looking forward to sharing revolutionary robotics solutions with other Dallas-Fort Worth business owners because we have experienced how automation solves those problems and pays dividends.”
Prashant and Ruchika Nagrath described why they chose to be RobotLAB's first franchisees.
About the Author
Eugene DemaitreEugene Demaitre is editorial director of Robotics 24/7. Prior to joining Peerless Media, he was a senior editor at Robotics Business Review and The Robot Report. Demaitre has also worked for BNA (now part of Bloomberg), Computerworld, and TechTarget. He has participated in numerous robotics-related webinars, podcasts, and events worldwide.
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RobotLAB will integrate Bear Robotics' Servi Plus systems in restaurants.