Meet A.L.O., Aloft Cupertino’s New Robotic Butler

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Able to reach speeds of 4 mph, A.L.O. Botlr, Aloft Hotel’s new robotic butler will soon be busy delivering toothbrushes and razors, “dressed” appropriately in a vinyl uniform complete with name tag.

The brainchild of Savioke, the robot joins Aloft Cupertino today and officially reports for duty starting August 20, 2014 (top picture courtesy of NY Times). The Botlr will be on call to receive requests for deliveries to guest rooms, 24 hours a day.

Brian McGuinness, Global Brand Leader, Starwood’s Specialty Select Brands says, “ 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.”

I find this pretty cool, to think that a robot can prioritize guest requests, navigate around the hotel (including the elevator!), call guests to announce arrival, and accept feedback to improve future trips. I don’t see this as a threat to the staff, because small item requests are usually time consuming and taken care of by housekeeping who are usually busy with other things.

Also of interest is that the robot will not accept tips, but rather tweets as feedback after a successful delivery. Positive remarks will result in a little robot happy dance, which will undoubtedly make guests smile as well.

Several more Botlers are scheduled to be rolled out (get it?) in the next few months. Will you meet A.L.O.? I think I’d place a request for something small, just to watch the new Botlr in action!

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