Unless you’re afraid that they’re about to become self-aware and destroy humanity, robots are awesome. And if the talented machines that some airports, hotels and restaurants are already using become commonplace worldwide, we may soon be able to have a vacation catered to almost exclusively by robots. Here are our favorite travel robots around the world. The rise of these machines may not be such a bad thing.
Airport Car Valets
Ray never forgets where he parked the car. (Photo: Serva Transport Systems)
No more risking being late for your flight because you’re driving around the airport parking lot looking for a space. Germany’s Düsseldorf Airport (DUS) has robot valets to park and retrieve cars for you. When you drop off your vehicle, the robot valet, named Ray, hoists your car on a forklift-like system and whisks it to the parking area. The robot also knows when your flight returns so it can have your car ready for you on your return, or you can change the time from your phone using the app.
Best part: It doesn’t ask for tips
Airport Robot Guides
Part robot, part human: It’s Roboguide! (Photo: Indianapolis International Airport)
Once you’re in the airport, robots can help point you in the right direction. This summer, Edmonton International Airport in Canada tested roving robots that gave directions and escorted passengers to their desired locations. They even spoke 30 languages.
Indianapolis International Airport still has its robot on the payroll. It’s a remote-controlled Segway vehicle, complete with a nice blue polo shirt. There’s an iPad mounted on top, through which passengers can chat with a real-live customer service agent. “Not only is the Personal Airport Consultant (PAC) extremely helpful for our passengers,” the airport’s executive director, Mario Rodriguez, tells Yahoo Travel, ”but has become quite popular in posing for selfies with travelers of all ages!”
Best part: The robot’s pretty distinctive looking, so there’s no chance of mistakenly asking someone wearing a blue polo shirt, “Do you work here?” only to find out that they don’t.
Robot Baggage Handlers
After you check your luggage with the gate agent (who will probably be human for the foreseeable future), a robot could take over from there. Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has a robotic baggage-handling system that loads containers and luggage carts.
Best part: It doesn’t go through your bags.
Robot Cruise Ship Bartender
A robot bartender will never judge you. (Photo: Royal Caribbean)
Would you trust a robot to mix your drink? You have that option on Royal Caribbean’s new ship, Quantum of the Seas. Its e is staffed by a pair of robots. You place your order on tablets stationed around the bar, then the robot bartenders make your drink.
Related: The Robot Bartender Hit On My Wife
Best part: They can’t cut you off.
Botlr uses the elevator via Wi-Fi. How cool is that?!? (Photo: Starwood)
Botlr, a robot at Starwood’s Aloft hotel in Cupertino, California, has robots delivering room service orders to guests, including food, towels, and toothbrushes.
Best part: Won’t accidentally barge in to your room while you’re changing.