Every room has an Apple TV, fast and free high-speed WiFi flows throughout the hotel, and if you’re feeling too lazy to grab a snack at the hotel’s 24/7 snack station or bar, the hotel has robots that can come right to your room.
Aloft calls its 3-foot-tall robots the “A.L.O. Botlr,” short for “robot butler.” Introduced last August, these robots weigh 100 pounds, have giant empty compartments on top in case you asked for toiletries or some food, and have 7-inch touchscreens to interact with you.
And, since they have WiFi and 4G built-in, Aloft’s robot butlers can connect with the concierge, and they can even call elevators when they need a ride.
A hotel guest recently snapped a quick video of his Aloft robot bringing him room service. You can see how the touchscreen works, as the robot asks the customer to rate the robot’s service after delivery, and then says goodbye before heading back toward the elevator.
The hotel paints these robots to look like butlers, but Engadget points out they’re built and designed by Savioke, a California startup backed by Google Ventures. Savioke is led by Steve Cousins, the former CEO of Willow Garage, which makes similar-looking robots — except with limbs.
Savioke had an exclusive deal with Starwood, the company that owns the Aloft brand among others, throughout the end of 2014, but the startup plans to roll out its robots to other hotels this year.
Brian McGuinness, senior VP of the Aloft brand, told Engadget that these robots won’t replace human employees; it will just free them up to handle more important tasks.
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