5×5 Night at Start Garden!
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June 17, 2024 11:59 pm

About this idea
At WOL-E Robotics, we believe in solving big problems. We solve them not because they are easy, but because society needs a solution. The next ten years will be defined by a structural shortage of labor that can only be solved through robots, AI, and operational efficiency. We plan to maximize this opportunity by developing and commercializing a bed-changing robot for the hospitality industry. As of July 2023, over 80% of U.S. based hotels are experiencing staffing shortages. The hotels have been increasing wages, offering flexibility with hours, and expanding benefits – but 87% say they are still unable to fill open positions. Hospitality is looking to robots, artificial intelligence, and automation to bring efficiencies to the industry. However, most use cases have been around guest check-in and entertainment as opposed to actual complete jobs to be done and augmenting the staff shortage. After attending a recent conference in Japan, industry experts were asking for robots that change beds. Additionally, after talking to other robotic industry experts, the hospitality industry is looking for solutions, however, there is currently no solution on the market. It is known as a future problem. That is why we aim to build the world's first commercial bed-changing robot for the hospitality industry. The founder of WOL-E Robotics is a serial entrepreneur who graduated from Michigan State University. Michigan State University is known for consistently being ranked as the #1 Hospitality Business program in the world. The founder’s mentor served as the interim dean of this program.
The hospitality industry ($1.2T Industry Globally, $197B U.S.) has the most to gain from this idea. However, this idea also has applications in the Assisted and Independent Living Facility market ($99B Industry 2023), and even hospital and high end consumer market. For any given hotel, the average time to flip a hotel room is 27 minutes. One of the longest tasks is changing the bed. The average time to change the bed is 5-7 minutes. On average, in the U.S., hotel chains range from 50-70 beds (economy) to 300-500 (Luxury). For a large hotel, let’s say they have 350 rooms with a very generous ⅓ requiring bed changes per day. 350 rooms x ⅓ = ~116 116 x 6 minutes = 696 minutes 696/60 = 11.6 hours 11.6 * 14.11 (the average housekeeping wage U.S.) = $163.67/day $163.67*365 = $59,741.74 / year that would be spent on changing beds “There are 107,258 Hotels & Motels businesses in the US as of 2022, an increase of 0.2% from 2021” (Ibisworld). From initial research, hotels and assisted living tend to capex these expenses over years, however, some ongoing maintenance and support costs will be required and built into the business model. If we were able to charge $150K or less for the robot, we would save money for the hotel, and make the job easier for the staff they can hire, if they can hire anyone at all.
What I'll do with $5,000
1. $1,000 will be used with Michigan Law Firm to receive a patentability opinion 2. Based on patentability opinion, work with designer to develop concept and detailed renderings for further research with prospective customers. 3. Develop website and conduct “false frontend test.” This test will be used to gauge desirability and capture leads for letters of intent.
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