Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Robot Butler Starts Work

A robotic butler is set to roam the corridors of the Aloft hotel in Cupertino, the first example of mysterious robo-startup Savioke's new plan to make service robotics mainstream.

The robot is approximately 3 feet tall, weighs less than 100 lbs., has a carrying capacity of 2 cubic feet, and is designed to travel at a human walking pace. It can even travel independently between floors via the hotel elevator.

When Aloft’s 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. A.L.O. will know 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.

While some might be concerned at the idea of a robot taking over what would traditionally be a human's job, Starwood says there's no current plan to replace staff with the SaviOne. Instead, it will be augmenting their roles, helping them spend more time face-to-face with customers while robots do the tedious legwork.

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