Stamford, Connecticut (US) Aug 15, 2014: Say hello, to A.L.O the world's first Botlr, sorry robotic butler. He has just joined duty at the Aloft Hotel, in Cupertino, California, doing both front and back of the house duties.
For guests, he assumes the avatar of a robotic room service attendant, to deliver amenities to guest rooms.
A.L.O. was created at Savioke – a year old Santa Clara, California, startup which received seed round of funding in April of $2 million from Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, Google Ventures, Morado Venture Partners and other individual investors.
The robot which its makers have christened SaviOne, 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.
Says Steve Cousins, CEO of Savioke: “We are thrilled to introduce our robot to the world today through our relationship with Aloft Hotels. In our early testing, all of us at Savioke have seen the look of delight on those guests who receive a room delivery from a robot. We’ve also seen the front desk get busy at times, and expect Botlr will be especially helpful at those times, freeing up human talent to interact with guests on a personal level.”
A.L.O. officially reports for duty on August 20 at Aloft Cupertino, with several new Botlrs to join in the upcoming months. For a few days we have a video of the botlr in action at Aloft Cupertino. Pl see our home page video spot.
UPDATE: Almost at the same time across the world in China, a restaurant launch robotic waiters: See the AFP story here