Robotic Arms to dominate service industry in Taiwan


(31 Aug 2016) LEAD IN:
Taiwan’s service industry is increasingly using robotic arms to enhance the quality of its service.
The robots are slowly replacing human staff members for monotonous and strength-demanding tasks, like carrying luggage.

STORY LINE:
On display at the Taiwan Automation Intelligence and Robot Show in Taipei City these robotic arms are becoming commonplace – especially in the service industry – according to Taiwanese manufacturers.
The theme of the show this year is industry 4.0, and manufacturers say the new industrial revolution right now is all about using robotics to do the dirty work.
From ceiling high hoists to kitchen work surface coffee aids, robot hands are set to replace humans for mundane jobs in the home as well as arduous lifting duties.
Wu Wen-chia is project department general manager at precision machinery components manufacturer, Hiwin. He believes robotics arms will allow human service staff to better concentrate on good service for its clients.
“Robotic arms can be used to carry luggage. Carrying luggage is all about physical force. It is also a monotonous job. If we use a robotic arm, the personnel could play an even more important role, which is to provide friendly service. Purely provide service. And robotic arms could replace the physical strength jobs in the service industry. I do see an ideal future in the cooperation of humans and machines,” he says.
Robotic arms are already widely used in industry here.
At the Chase Hotel in Taichung City there is no human staff. Everything is handled digitally and the guests’ luggage is looked after by a two-metre high robotic arm.
“Until now, customers highly appreciate the robotic arm. Customers in this Feng-chia district are mostly young. It is very easy for them to accept the robotic arm as well as an unmanned hotel. Our operation interface is also easy to use. No matter young or old, customers do not find it difficult to use,” says Peter Tsai, Deputy Marketing Manager at the hotel.
Chase Hotel is located in a district with a large variety of restaurants and food stalls. There is no front desk staff and all bookings and payments are done online. Not having to pay salaries to human staff allows managers to invest those savings into improving the hotel, says Tsai.
“Besides saving on a certain amount of personnel expenses each month, we enhance on the quality of our rooms. We also feed back on customers regarding the accommodation price.”
Tsai Feng-chun is CEO/President at Shayang Ye Industrial Co., Ltd – a Taiwan based components manufacturing company. He says robotic arms are now capable of carrying out all sorts of service industry roles from policework to healthcare.
“If the robotic arm is used on a production line, it becomes part of the production hardware. If used on a robot, it could also dismantle bombs. If made into a traffic policeman, it could control traffic. And used in a hospital, it could become medical personnel. The robotic arm is just used the way people use their hands.”
The Taiwan Automation Intelligence and Robot Show runs from August 31 to Sept. 3. More than 900 companies from around the world take part in the annual event.

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