Artificial Intelligence on Cruise Ships of the Future

Emerging technology on cruise ships

When it comes to future technology in the travel industry, cruise lines have long been ahead of the game.  Even before the global pandemic began in March 2020, cruise lines were looking at introducing emerging technology.  However, the Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst to cause the industry to speed up the process and improve the passenger experience, especially in relation to health protocols.

At the Passenger Ship BoardingTerminal

One of the first aspects of the use of future technology in improving the health of cruise passengers will be the use of touchless system technology. This will apply to such things as signing bills and scanning passports. The aim will be to avoid any direct human interaction.

Both Google and Apple are already developing “track-and-trace” apps that can alert crew to whether someone has been near an infected person.  Other systems will include purification and pathogen removal for the whole of the facility.

Onboard Changes on Cruise Ships

Passenger Ship embarkation will involve biometric identification and we are likely to see disinfection tunnels leading to the boarding terminal.  Already most major cruise lines offer online check-in which means that you can get your boarding pass over the phone. Almost certainly, thermal imaging cameras will be placed at entry points.

Some Cruise Lines already have on-board artificial intelligence systems similar to Amazon Alexa.  

MSC has an on-board voice-activated assistant named Zoe.  In future, on-board health protocols will be set up to include the use of touchless technology.  Phone apps will be downloaded to do such things as unlock the door as you approach, so guests won’t need to touch their cabin door handle.  

Every cabin will be fitted with AI-powered voice-activated information speakers. 

Passengers will use apps on their mobile phones to do many things. They will act as key-cards to open your cabin, to order and to pay for drinks, make bookings at restaurants, shows and the spa, and to book shore excursions. You will even be able to check your account, track your loved ones and control the lights and temperature in your cabin. This will avoid the use of shared touchscreens that cruise ships frequently use to sell tours and book activities.

Most cruise passengers are familiar with the daily newsletters and invitations that are slid under the door of the cabin. Such things, along with meal menus will become a thing of the past, to be replaced by digital emerging technology replacing all paper-based information and avoiding touching surfaces.  

Physical queueing will be limited by the use of virtual queueing apps to limit how many people will stand together in a certain area at a given time. This will avoid overcrowding at lunch buffets, in the fitness centre or at the pool.  Passengers will be able to order food and drinks and have them delivered to specified locations on board.

Robots on board Cruise Ships

Germ-zapping robots are already being used in hotels, restaurants and food processing facilities. These robots use broad-spectrum UV light to quickly decontaminate rooms and public spaces.  Similar robots will be able to autonomously enter cabins and sanitise the room after housekeeping staff have left. 

But what about the Personal Touch on Cruise Ships?

What cruise line operators are very conscious of is that one of the main reasons people take cruises is to enjoy the socialisation that is a major part of the experience and such innovations as physical distancing need to be carefully managed to preserve this important aspect of cruising.  

One key feature of the cruise ships of the future will be the social distancing protocol, as personal interaction with shipboard staff is very important in creating memorable experiences on cruise ships.

What Cruise Lines Are Doing With Next-Generation Cruise Technology

Read more about Artificial Intelligence into the future

Will Robots Replace Human Jobs?

Jobs at risk

A new problem in the brave new world of robots.

Business owners are in a race to replace their workers as quickly as possible in order to avoid being overtaken by their competitors. However, the flip side of this is that workers are not impressed and not really excited about the prospect of their jobs being taken over by robots.  One expert predicts that 40% of all current jobs will be replaced within 15 years by robots controlled by artificial intelligence.

Robot Resistance

It seems now that in some countries, robots are becoming unpopular, to the extent that some humans are resorting to violence against the robots themselves, rather than against their creators or the employers who introduced them to the work place.  Recently a robotic security guard was wrapped in a tarpaulin and covered with barbecue sauce . In Russia a teaching robot was bashed with a baseball bat.  It seems to be a world-wide phenomenon on our robot planet.
So why this strange new phenomenon?  It could be that we are coming to regard robots as creatures very similar to ourselves… after all, our human hearts can be seen simply as sophisticated pumps.  And our DNA can be described in a form similar to computer code.  Even our nervous system is like to the electrical wiring inside machines.  The similarities are many.

Robots v HumansWorking Robot

Does this mean that, in the future, a battle between humans and robots is inevitable?  Perhaps not.  One robot manufacturer has discovered that if robots are given a name, fellow workers are much less likely to attack them.  You can imagine a work place where a robot named “George” is introduced to the workers.  Mary, John and Alan will be happier to work with “him” and not resent the fact that one of their team has been replaced by a machine.  I imagine that lunch breaks and morning tea breaks would be interesting for employee conversation and bonding!!

Will robots reduce human employment?

So which professions can be challenged by the potential introduction of robots in the work place? Practically every profession practised by humans is now under threat by robots.  And this includes the most unlikely.  Robot chefs in restaurants are now a reality.
It seems that even journalism is under threat.  The Guardian has recently engaged a robot writer that has just written its first article!!  (I don’t know the name of this new robotic writer).
Even the medical and legal professions are under threat by artificial intelligence.
Here is a list of the 10 Jobs most likely to be taken over by robots..Construction workers

Could a robot do your job?

How likely is it that a robot will take your job?




Australia’s first ever retail store staffed by robots

humanoid robot

An ice-cream parlour at Melbourne’s federation square is staffed by three robots.

The robots are named Pepper, Eka and Tony.  Tony has two arms and a screen that appears as a “face”.  A team of ABB engineers worked to bring into reality a new retail experience for customers.

Robot serverThe process is simple.  It all starts with a touch screen.  The customer selects the number of scoops, chooses the flavours and toppings and the robots do the rest.

It’s just another example of robots serving up convenience.  Automation in the retail sector is nothing new.  E-commerce giant Amazon has been using robots to help with workflow for quite some time.  A “smart home” in Zurich was built mostly using 3D printers and robots.

So, should we be worried about robots eventually stealing our jobs?

A 2019 survey by recruitment agency Hays, found that 18% of Aussie workers have already had their job impacted significantly by robots, with their duties changing or their role becoming redundant.  Another 32% said their role had been impacted partially, with some tasks automated.

Adam Gregory from Linked-In says that automation and the ability to work with robots actually presents a huge opportunitiy for employers and employees… “Robots can take on the most mundane tasks, freeing up the workforce to do more creative and more complex work.  In fact, in industries like manufacturing, robots can take on the more high-risk tasks, thus providing a safer work environment.”

But in the future, it will be the robot’s biggest weakness that will be our biggest selling point… “soft skills” like communication, influence and problem solving.  Adam says that “In fact, 91%of HR professionals indicate that these “soft skills” will be the most in demand skills in the future”.

The company, Niska, is looking to extend robotic servers into other areas of retail.

A Brief History of Robotic Vacuums

Best Robot Vacuum

The man credited with inventing the robot vacuum is James Dizon, who sold the rights to Electrolux.  In 1996, Electrolux introduced the first robotic vacuum cleaner to the market. However, it failed to capture the market.

It wasn’t until 2002 that iRobot launched Roomba. Roomba was capable of changing directions and could detect dirty spots on the floor. It could also negotiate stairways.

In 2001, Dyson demonstrated the DC06 but it was too expensive for the market. Then in 2004, three years later, iRobot achieved one million units in sales.

Ten years later, in 2014, Dyson introduced the Dyson 360 Eye with a 360 degree camera and double suction.

2015 saw the introduction of “Sooba’, a robot machine that was capable of scrubbing floors.. then in 2016, iRobot released the “Dirt Dog” that was able to clean up doggie debris.

Following on from the Dirt Dog, the iRobot Braava 380T was introduced and was capable of sweeping and mopping at the same time. This unit had extended battery life and a “North Star” GPS style navigation.

What is the advantage of a robotic vacuum cleaner?

In comparison to traditional vacuum cleaners, robot vacuums are relatively quiet and take much less space to store.

But the main advantage is convenience.

We recently became proud owners of a Mi Robot Vacuum manufactured in China by Roborock Technology.

robot vacuum reviews

The Mi Robot Vacuum is an intelligent cleaner fitted with a high precision laser distance sensor that can create a map of your home and calculate a precise cleaning route as it goes. It works its way methodically around the selected area and automatically navigates back to the charging dock when it is finished.  All you have to do is empty it.

We named the unit “Dusty”. Dusty can be left to clean the floors of our house while we attend to other more important matters. A mobile phone app allows Dusty to be controlled and monitored from anywhere that there is internet access.

My wife Chris says…

“We love our new pet Dusty!  It is very quiet, maps out each room first, then goes about vacuuming the floor, carpet, tiles and wood.  It does the lot with quiet ease. One chore I always hated doing was vacuuming. Now it’s so easy, I just press the start and it’s off.

​We no longer have to crouch down and awkwardly manoeuvre the vacuum pipe, cords and hose around and under the beds and and under chairs. The Mi Robot vacuum does it all for you while you are out shopping or getting on with other more enjoyable things”.


​The Mi handbook claims that from now on we will be freed from boring household chores and can start enjoying life.