Robotic butler hired at Starwood hotel

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A Starwood Hotels and Resorts property in California is breaking new ground by employing the services of a robotic butler.

Named A.L.O, the cyber associate will make its debut at Aloft Cupertino helping to deliver guest amenities to guest rooms.

This makes Aloft the first major hotel brand to hire a robot for both front and back of house duties.

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“As you can imagine, hiring for this particular position was a challenge as we were seeking a very specific set of automated skills, and one that could work – literally – around the clock,” said Brian McGuinness, global brand leader, Starwood’s Specialty Select Brands. “As soon as A.L.O. entered the room, we knew it was what we were looking for. A.L.O. has the work ethic of Wall-E, the humour of Rosie from The Jetsons and reminds me of my favourite childhood robot, R2-D2. We are excited to have it join our team.”

A.L.O, also known as Botlr (robotic butler), will be professionally dressed in a custom shrink-wrapped, vinyl collared uniform, complete with nametag, and will accept tweets as tips.

The robot has been developed by Savioke and is approximately three feet tall, weighing less than 100lbs. It has a carrying capacity of 2 cubic feet and is designed to travel at human walking pace.

When A.L.O. arrives at the appropriate guest room, it phones the guest to announce its arrival, delivers the goods and makes its way back to the front desk. It even knows when a guest opens the door via an onboard camera.

Once the door opens, A.L.O. will unlock, open its lid and provide instructions through onscreen prompts for guests to remove the item and close the lid.

A.L.O officially joins the team at Aloft Cupertino on August 20, with plans in place to employ several more Botlrs in the coming months.

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