Starwood Hotels is introducing a new robot butler who will accept a tweet for a ‘tip’.
Starwood Hotels is introducing a new robot butler at their Aloft Hotel in California on August 20, 2014. This will be the first time something like this has been implemented at a hotel. The robot will do everything from bringing guests towels and newspapers to helping the front desk on busy days. The robot butler (Botlr) will be called A.L.O. Best part about Botlr? It does not ask for tips, only expects the guests to tweet about their experience using the hashtag #meetbotlr.
A.L.O. will be donning the butler uniform and will also have a name tag. It has a touchscreen interface that will be used by guests and hotel staff to communicate with it.
If a guest asks for a newspaper, the hotel staff will load the paper in a compartment on top of Botlr’s head and program the room number using the touch screen. The robot will then make its way through the hotel to the room and once it is at the doorstep, it will give the guest a call to open the door.
A.L.O. has been designed by a company called Savioki, that is backed by Google Ventures. While creating the robot, Botlr’s appearance was the most challenging task for Saviok. It had to make a robot that did not scare people, but instead made them comfortable in its presence. This is where Google Ventures stepped in and gave Botlr its smiling exterior.
Brian McGuinness, Global Brand leader for Starwood’s Speciality Brands said, “A.L.O has the work ethic of ‘Wall-E,’ the humor of Rosey from ‘The Jetsons’ and reminds me of my favorite childhood robot, R2-D2.”
There were some concerns that people had about A.L.O. taking away human jobs, but Starwood assured people that Botlr was only around to make life easier for the hotel staff and will not be a threat to their jobs.