Cobalt Robotics , Bear Robotics | August 24, 2021
The pandemic upended many sectors with mass layoffs at the beginning of COVID-19 and ended with record labor shortages. The hospitality sector in particular was deeply hit with massive unemployment gaps that ran well above the national unemployment rate during the pandemic. While other industries have started on the road to recovery, the hospitality industry is still 2.8 million jobs shy of where it was in February 2020.
With more than 60% of Americans willing to travel again, 55% of U.S. companies planning to resume business travel within the next three months and more than a third of current hospitality workers planning to exit the industry, the hotel industry is in a bind.
Long-term labor solutions in the area are needed to meet the rising demand for travel and seismic shifts in the hospitality workforce. This is where 3D camera-equipped robots can play a role. Robots are some of the most impactful forms of hospitality technology hoteliers can invest in to maintain efficiency, serve guests and aid understaffed operations.
Solving staffing shortages
From retail stores to the hospitality realm, customer-facing industries are already solving staffing shortages and improving operations through robots equipped with 3D imaging sensors. For example, restaurants have added self-navigating robots for food delivery and table bussing while grocery chains have discovered that robots can assist in cleaning, providing stock management alerts and checkout duties.
These tasks are typically limited in their customer-facing duties but are repetitive and time-consuming activities that are easily programmed into digital sidekicks. This makes robots an ideal solution to the staffing shortages many hotel properties are experiencing. Properties of all sizes are starting to realize the practical uses for service robots - or “co-bots,” which work alongside humans to extend and improve performance, taking the burden off human workers so they can handle more demanding responsibilities.
A popular function behind the implementation of 3D camera-embedded robots is the ability to increase self-service functionality, increase convenience and improve customer experiences for guests. Mobile robots can perform navigation tasks that include guiding guests to their rooms and delivering commonly requested room service items such as pillows, blankets, towels and toiletries. They can even operate as roving security guards throughout the property.
3D facial authorization, like the technology used to unlock your smartphone, can be employed to recognize guests and address them by name, adding a sense of personalization and high-class service. Meanwhile, guests can say goodbye to fumbling for key cards, and hotel staff no longer have to worry about reprinting numerous key cards.
Housekeeping and sanitization may be the most demanded and high-ROI use of 3D robots. Robots can manage in-room and common area cleaning tasks such as vacuuming and sanitation, while specially equipped units can completely disinfect high-touch areas and items. Equipped with a UV light and disinfectant sprays, these popular cleaning companions can eliminate germs off the surface of elevator buttons, doorknobs and TV remotes in just seconds.
Safety and efficiency of 3D tech
3D cameras are the key to robots handling tasks alongside human workers. 3D camera technology enables mobile robots to identify and avoid obstacles and people with extreme accuracy. The camera technology can accurately perceive depth to navigate highly populated space: From high foot traffic in hallways to luggage and bags stacked in lobbies, 3D robots can navigate through it all. Using their depth-sensing capabilities, they can also spot anomalies like an open hallway door or atypical presence of individuals in a given space.
When combined with SLAM (Simultaneous Location and Mapping), the technology that scans and creates a digital map of the space, self-propelled 3D service bots can deliver food, drinks and other amenities anywhere within the hotel property. No matter the obstacle, SLAM-supported 3D can seamlessly navigate and deliver guests what they need.
Cobalt Robotics and Bear Robotics are two companies utilizing 3D camera technology in the hospitality robotics sector. Cobalt Robotics, a U.S.-based company, develops 3D camera-equipped robots available for security, facilities management and concierge services. Bear Robotics offers robots specializing in food service deployments. The cost of utilizing robot workers in these instances is often comparable or less than an hourly worker. Combine these savings with the elimination of sick days, injuries or other disruptions and hotel managers are left with a more cost-effective way to handle routine tasks.
Another vital form of ROI in employing 3D robots in hotels is that they can collect data on guest preferences, facility status and upkeep, security and more. This information is critical in helping hotels run more efficiently and with a greater focus on customer satisfaction.
The future of hotels
The pandemic has created vast uncertainty for the hospitality industry. It remains to be seen how guest bookings and behaviors, hospitality economics or competitive activity will change for the long-haul post-pandemic.
What is certain, however, is that labor will be forever impacted - and that technology, specifically reliable and multifunctional robots, will be part of the future of hotels.
Kelly ETFs | January 17, 2022
Kelly ETFs, a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuer that seeks to bring forward-looking and disruptive investment products to market, officially launches.
The firm’s first round of innovative ETFs also began trading, including:
The Kelly CRISPR & Gene Editing Technology ETF (Nasdaq: XDNA). XDNA is designed to capitalize on the next generation of healthcare by investing in companies disrupting the genomic and life science industries. The fund seeks to track the Strategic CRISPR & Gene Editing Technology Index, which measures the performance of developed market companies that specialize in DNA modification systems and technologies. The subsectors of this fund include CRISPR & Gene Editing Technology, Gene Editing Development Solutions and Gene Editing Sequencing Solutions.
The Kelly Hotel & Lodging Sector ETF (NYSE Arca: HOTL). The lodging ecosystem includes many specialized players, and by seeking to track the Strategic Hotel & Lodging Sector Index, HOTL offers exposure to companies focused on hotel and lodging management and operations, lodging platform services, timeshare properties and real estate throughout the developed world. The hotel and lodging sector acts as an effective economic barometer as it uniquely captures both leisure and business spending across various income levels.
The Kelly Residential & Apartment Real Estate ETF (NYSE Arca: RESI). RESI aims to track the Strategic Residential & Apartment Real Estate Sector Index, which targets the entire residential and multifamily real estate industry by giving investors access to companies specializing in single-family residential homes, apartment buildings, student housing and manufactured homes.
“At Kelly ETFs, we believe investors deserve access to strategies handcrafted with a deep and nuanced understanding of the forces driving the trends and transformations happening every day,We are particularly excited about the promising innovation occurring in CRISPR and gene editing technology. Scientific understanding of DNA is significantly more advanced today than even a few years ago and we’re thrilled to be in on the ground floor.”
-Kevin Kelly, Founder and CEO of Kelly ETFs.
Kevin Kelly is an established ETF expert with nearly two decades of financial industry experience. He also serves as the CEO of Kelly Benchmark Indexes, the index provider and sponsor of the SRVR and INDS ETFs.
In regard to residential real estate, historically low housing supply comes at a time when household growth – the primary driver of housing demand – is strong and accelerating,” noted Krista Kelly, who will oversee the firm’s operations and distribution. “Meanwhile, the hotel and lodging sector is seeing favorable market conditions as business spending is set to increase over the next several years.
Kelly Intelligence is the adviser and index provider for these funds. To learn more about Kelly ETFs and its product suite, please visit KellyETFs.com.
About Kelly ETFs
Kelly ETFs strives to create disruptive exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that offer investors the opportunity to capture highly liquid, pure-play exposure to the best-in-class companies identified in each emerging theme or sector, regardless of geographical location. Based in Denver, the team is committed to building investment products with exposure to the world’s most transformative companies and industries. For more information, visit KellyETFs.com.Residential and Apartment Real Estate Companies Investing Risk. Real estate is highly sensitive to general and local economic conditions and developments. The U.S. real estate market may, in the future, experience and has, in the past, experienced a decline in value, with certain regions experiencing significant losses in property values. Many real estate companies, including REITs, utilize leverage (and some may be highly leveraged), which increases investment risk and the risk normally associated with debt financing, and could potentially increase the Fund’s volatility and losses.Hotel and Lodging Industry Risk Companies in the hotels, resorts sub-industry may be affected by unique supply and demand factors that do not apply to other sub-industries. Weak economic conditions in some parts of the world, changes in oil prices and currency values, political instability in some areas, and the uncertainty over how long any of these conditions could continue may have a negative impact on the lodging industry.
DNA Modification Technology Company Risk. DNA modification technology companies face intense competition, and products and services with a potentially short product life. These companies will generally require large amounts of capital expenditures on research and development, with no guarantee that the product or service would be successful. They may be heavily dependent on intellectual property rights. The laws related to these rights can vary and there is no guarantee that a company will be able to successfully protect their intellectual property rights. These companies, like other health care companies, are subject to various government and regulatory oversight that could hamper or impede their operations.
Hotelplanner | April 18, 2022
HotelPlanner announced a partnership with Venture Endurance as a service provider. A subsidiary of Gannett's USA TODAY NETWORK Ventures, to split revenue from athlete hotel reservations for the country's more than 115 yearly endurance and adventure races and events.
Ventures Endurance is one of the largest event companies in North America. There is something for athletes of all fitness levels year-round, including marathons, obstacle events, cycling, and themed virtual runs. RAGBRAI, the Rugged Maniac Obstacle Course Series, the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Series, the Essentia Fargo Marathon, and the Statesman Cap 10K are all notable events and popular racing series.
Bruce Rosenberg, President and Chief Operating Officer, said, "This partnership is well-timed as leisure travel rebounds and more and more athletes are willing to travel across the country to participate in sporting events, especially the iconic events that Ventures Endurance is known for. This deal enables athletes, and their friends and family, to find the best price and value for their hotel stay during competition, while driving additional revenue to event host cities."
"HotelPlanner's proprietary AI-enabled booking engine, their hotel relationships, and their individual and group sales expertise make this a powerful partnership to save our athletes money, and to ensure their hotel booking experience is seamless and stress-free."
-Ronan Gardiner, VP, Event Sponsorship, Ventures Endurance