They might be handy with a Screwdriver… these are the robots who will prepare your cocktails on Royal Caribbean’s ground-breaking ship Quantum of the Seas.
The pair – claimed to be the only mechanised mixologists in the world – will serve the drinks in new bar Bionic where the guests order their tipple by tablet computer.
But they won’t be the only robots on board the 167,800-ton ship, which I will be visiting at its shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, this week.
Computer-controlled machines also drive a performance by six giant TV screens which twist and turn to create new visual effects in the Two70 venue. It also hosts Vistarama, where 18 projectors create a show across its 270-degree windows that is more than 100ft wide and 20ft tall in 12K resolution – nearly twice that of an Imax cinema.
Quantum, and its sister ship Anthem – which will be based in Southampton next year – have already made headlines with innovations such as North Star, a pod which lifts riders 300ft above the waves, as well as a skydiving simulator and dodgem cars.
But the high tech will start even before passengers board the ship, Royal Caribbean announced today.
Ahead of their holiday, guests will be able to upload their own security photo as well as other details. The cruise line has set an ambitious target that passengers can transfer from ‘shoreside to ship’ in ten minutes with no check-in counter and no queues.
They will also be able to track luggage on the way to their cabin on their smartphones using radio frequency identification (RFID). The same technology will be used on wristbands which can be used to find their way round the ship, buy things on board and also serve as the room key.
The torture of slow internet connections at sea will be ended by using a new generation of low, mid-Earth-orbit satellites to bring fast broadband connections, allowing guests to watch streaming movies or video chat to each other, even in the middle of the ocean.
The superfast connection will also allow passengers in the SeaPlex centre to play Xbox video games live against competitors on other Royal Caribbean ships or across the world.
Inside cabins won’t be deprived of sea views either, as virtual balconies will display real-time sights and sounds of the sea through 80in LED screens
Two apps have been introduced – Cruise Planner allows guests to book dinner reservations, shore excursions and spa appointments before going on holiday, while Royal IQ includes an at-a-glance calendar of bookings while on the ship and lets passengers stay in touch with each other and with home.
Crew will also have apps to track guests’ tastes and preferences – such as gluten-free food, early show seating or the type of massage they enjoy. Royal Caribbean is giving each of its 40,000 staff a free Microsoft tablet that is theirs to keep.
Technology is also being used to keep the ship green, cutting energy consumption by redesigning the hull, and by installing only LED or fluorescent bulbs. Motion sensors will turn off hallway lighting when not being used.
MD Stuart Leven said guests on Quantum and Anthem would feel they’d been ‘transported to the future’.
He added: ‘The new technologies make things possible at sea that could never have been done before. The robot bartenders, RFID luggage tracking devices and Roboscreens, among others, are complete game-changers for the industry and we’re confident that guests will be blown away when they step onboard.’
See the video here:
Shipmonk has been shortlisted as best blog in the 2015 Cruise International awards. To vote, please click here (last category)