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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Silicon Valley Hotel Replaces Human Butlers With "Professional" Robot Butlers

Posted By on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 2:02 PM

click to enlarge Will work through lunch breaks
  • Will work through lunch breaks
A Silicon Valley hotel has just hired the ideal employee: One that will work 24 hours a day, seven days a week for little-to-no pay — and not complain.

Aloft Hotels, the "tech-forward, innovation hub for millennial-minded travelers," has hired a new helping hand for hotel guests in Silicon Valley — A.L.O. Botlr ( short for robotic butler). Described as a "charismatic cyber associate," the robotic houseboy has been charged (or in this case programmed) to deliver amenities and such to pampered guests at the Aloft Hotel in Cupertino.

In its new role, the Botlr will be on-call to bring up toothbrushes, towels, snacks, and any other amenity to hotel guests in need. The mini manservant will be "professionally dressed" wearing a shrink-wrapped, vinyl-collared uniform and a name tag for that personal touch.
Ironically enough, Alof Hotels says having a a robot on duty will pave the path for a more personalized experience at hotels (?):

A.L.O. will modestly accept tweets as tips as its wheels whizz from task to task. This newest Aloft associate will not only free up existing talent’s time, allowing them to create a more personalized experience for guests, but will enhance the hotel’s current tech-forward offerings. A.L.O. will now facilitate and prioritize multiple guest deliveries, communicate effortlessly with guests and various hotel platforms, as well as efficiently navigate throughout the property – including the elevator – with ease.
“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 humor of Rosie from The Jetsons, and reminds me of my favorite childhood robot, R2-D2. We are excited to have it join our team.”

Prior to its role at Aloft, A.L.O. studied at Savioke, a new company which the robotics community has been eagerly anticipating for this first class of robots. It double majored in rudimentary tasks and hospitality. 

A.L.O. begins its new gig on Aug. 20. Expect more Botlrs to follow, just in time to form a union.
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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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