How Sun-Robot provides foodie fusion in Phuket

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Licence to roam: Meet Sun-Robot, a great example of physical-digital fusion

Imagine the scene. The service robot makes its way around the seating area within the Avolta-run (HMSHost) High Tide Bar at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport Bali, the automated machine’s trays laden with a special offer on the travel retail-exclusive Jack Daniel’s American Single Malt Whiskey at the nearby Bali Duty Free (Avolta) shop.

{Photo: Avolta}

Meanwhile over in the duty-free store, another Sun-Robot is showcasing an alternative proposition. ‘Get your free Jack Daniel’s American Single Malt Whiskey at the High Tide Bar with every full-bottle purchase here in duty free.’

Or at Zayed International Airport, a Sun-Robot works its way around the considerable expanse of Lagardère Travel Retail’s superbly atmospheric Todd English Pub & Market, promoting, say, a dual Campari and Prosecco campaign at the company’s nearby Le Club liquor store (pictured below) while showcasing a refreshing Aperol Spritz offer at the bar.

Lagardère Travel Retail runs a combo of food & beverage (above) and retail (below) at Zayed International Airport

Such scenes might not be imaginary much longer. Sun-Robot* is an industrial service robot that I encountered today at Central Food Hall in Porto De Phuket, a fantastic eatery joined to a high-end supermarket in the Cherngtalay district of Phuket.

Sun-Robot was promoting a local organic skincare brand and attracting plenty of interest while doing the rounds between the supermarket shelves and the Food Hall.

Isn’t this precisely what Avolta CEO Xavier Rossinyol had in mind when he talked about the fusion between retail and F&B in an interview with me last year? He commented: “The combination of digital and physical stores – and by stores I mean both shops and restaurants/F&B outlets – needs to be done in a different way. Consumer-centricity is today at the basis of 100% what Avolta is doing.”

The combination of digital and physical doesn’t get much more clear-cut than this. And consumer-centricity? Heck, it stopped me in my tracks. Sun-Robot, airport retail and food & beverage is sitting there waiting for you. ✈

*Produced by Siasun Robot & Automation, China’s number one robot manufacturing company. In Thailand the company has a partnership called Sunrobotics & AI.