Hotel hires robot butlers to provide room service

A.L.O Botlr will bring robotic concierge service to a California hotel

What’s three feet tall, 100 pounds, and has a touchscreen for a face? The A.L.O Botlr, of course. Designed to provide concierge service to guests at the Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, CA, the robotic butler is Wi-Fi and 4G-equipped, and with sonar, LADR, and a Kinect-like 3D camera, it can navigate a hotel all by itself. 

ALO_Botlr

Image via Mashable.

Using its four wheels to cruise the hallways, Botlr can carry guest deliveries of up to two pounds in its compartment located on its head. The brilliant ‘bot is the brainchild of Savioke CEO Steve Cousins, who once served as president and CEO of the Willow Garage, where he developed the PR2 research robot. But unlike PR2, Botlr was created for real-world use.

Eventually Aloft Hotels will deploy several Botlrs throughout its halls after a trial run beginning on August 20th, and each one will be given a different name. The robots will assist concierge staff and autonomously deliver requested items to guest rooms. As seen in the video below, when Botlr arrives, it calls the guest’s room to tell the guest it’s outside the door. Interacting with the robot via its touchscreen is simple, and unlike a living, breathing bellhop, Botlr doesn’t hold out its hand for a tip—it doesn’t have any arms to do so. Instead, it encourages guests to tweet their approval with the hashtag #meetbotlr.

Other hotels will get a chance to use the robots via a pilot program set to launch next year, but until then, you’ll have to visit California to catch a glimpse of the world’s robotic future.

Story via Mashable.

Written for Electronic Products.

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2 comments

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