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Operation policy of multi-capacity logistic robots in hotel industry

Woojin Lee (Department of Hotel and Tourism Management, Sejong University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Young Dae Ko (Department of Hotel and Tourism Management, Sejong University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 7 April 2021

Issue publication date: 6 July 2021




This paper aims to propose an operation policy of multi-capacity room service robots traveling within a hotel. As multi-capacity robots can serve many requests in a single trip, improved operation policy can reduce the investment cost of robots.


Using a mathematical model-based optimization technique, an optimal set of robots with minimum installation cost is derived while serving the entire room service demands. Through testing a variety of scenarios by changing the price and function of robots to be installed, insights that consider the various situations are offered.


Though the increase in capacity saves much time for room service at a lower capacity level, the amount of time saved gradually decreases as the capacity increases. Besides, the installation strategy is divided into two cases depending on the purchase cost of robots.

Research limitations/implications

Currently, the studies focusing on the adoption of service robots from an operations view are rarely be found. To reduce the burden of investment cost, this study takes the unique approach to improve the operation policy of service robots by using the multi-capacity robots.

Practical implications

This study guides the hotel to install an adequate set of robots. The result confirms that the optimal installation set of robots is affected by various factors, such as the room service information, the hotel structure and the unit execution cycle.


After the outbreak of COVID-19, people avoid face-to-face contact and interest in non-contact service is growing. This paper deals with the efficient way to implement non-contact delivery through logistic robots, a timely and important topic.



Lee, W. and Ko, Y.D. (2021), "Operation policy of multi-capacity logistic robots in hotel industry", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 1482-1506.



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