Robots may be gradually entering the workforce, but as CNBC recently found after testing a hotel robot in Singapore, they're not completely flawless.
CNBC ordered a few items to a room at the M Social Hotel, from AURA, the hotel's new robot.
AURA is made by a San Francisco-based manufacturer, Savioke, which has dispatched other robots to several locations around the world. AURA is not capable of delivering food items yet, so we ordered several bottled waters and towels.
As a hotel guest, the experience was relatively seamless. The only notable flaw was when AURA indecisively turned in circles in front of our hotel room after the delivery was made before finally cruising back down the hallway toward the elevators.
But during a separate trip in which CNBC followed AURA from its charging station in the lobby to the hotel room, things weren't completely smooth.
AURA has the ability to wirelessly call for an elevator (the staff says it has a preferred one), but this time it hesitated to enter an opened elevator with several guests already inside with large luggage waiting to go to their rooms. The robot delayed the lift, and then waited outside as the doors closed without it.
The guests inside waited for the elevator to ascend, but it didn't.
The doors opened again and the guests walked out annoyed, while AURA made its way in — in their place. This time the doors closed and ascended up with AURA ready to make its delivery.
Later, while cruising down the hallway, the robot got distracted by a housekeeping cart and hesitated to go inside the open room, before continuing on its journey to our room, where the delivery was completed.
But, AURA still gets the job done despite the minor quirks. In fact, maybe small flaws are simply part of the design to make it feel more ... human?