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ROYAL CARIBBEAN''''S NEWEST CRUISE SHIP MIXES AND SERVES DRINKS WITH ROBOTS AND RFID

Royal Caribbean International's newest cruise ship, the Quantum of the Seas, embarked on its maiden voyage on Nov. 2, and the ship was outfitted with a number of RFID-based features, including WOWband bracelets containing passive high-frequency (HF) RFID tags that passengers can use to unlock their staterooms' doors and make purchases onboard (see RFID Sets Sail With Quantum of the Seas).

Another of the ship's RFID-enabled features is the Bionic Bar, which features two robotic bartenders that work in conjunction with a passenger's WOWband RFID bracelet.

Quantum of the Seas is using WOWband wristbands, which travelers can purchase prior to arriving at the ship or from an onboard RFID-enabled Royal iQ kiosk. The wristbands leverage passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags, and guests can use them to open their rooms and make payments via RFID-enabled point-of-sale (POS) systems—provided by VeriFone—at the ship's restaurants, bars, casino, gangway and arcade, as well as at areas set aside for Royal Caribbean's Adventure Ocean youth and teen programs. The cruise ship also offers guests RFID luggage tags and a Royal iQ app on their smartphones, which they can use to access updates related to the events in which they are scheduled to take part, and to manage details regarding their voyage, including viewing the locations of their bags during loading and unloading.

The wristbands are made with a 13.56 MHz NXP Semiconductors Mifare Ultralight C RFID chip complying with the ISO 14443 standard. Other RFID components include HF readers from Feig Electronics and handheld UHF readers provided by Motorola Solutions' RFID division (now part of Zebra Technologies).

At the Bionic Bar, two industrial robots from Makr Shakr prepare, mix and serve drinks to passengers. According to a Yahoo article, the Bionic Bar has several tablets that guests can access via their WOWbands. Once logged in, a traveler can choose a drink or make his own from a menu list. An electronic board then shows the passenger where his drink is in the queue. After one of the robots has prepared the drink and it is ready for delivery, the Yahoo article explains, the robot slides it into one of the bar's four slots. The guest can then use his WOWband again to unlock the slot and retrieve the drink.