Welcome to the Future: Robot Room Service Is Here

·Lead Editor
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Meet Dash. (Photo: IHG)

Have you ever been in your hotel room, ordered room service, and got caught in your towel when they showed up? Or felt a little bit weird that there’s a stranger in your room with you while you’re in your robe — even if he is serving you breakfast? That may soon be thing of the past.

The future is now — Silicon Valley area hotels are implementing robot room service, and soon they will be used in hotels across the country. Both the Crowne Plaza San Jose-Silicon Valley and the Aloft Hotels in Silicon Valley and Cupertino have android butlers who can travel as fast as humans, carry orders weighing less than 10 pounds, and even navigate elevators. 

Now at the Crowne Plaza, when travelers order light room service or amenities from the concierge, they may be greeted at their doors by a sleek, silver, 3-foot-tall, 100-pound android called Dash. First Dash is loaded up with the ordered items, then he summons the elevator via Wi-Fi and calls the guest on the phone to say he’s arrived. When he’s done, Dash returns to the front desk and locks himself down in his charging station.

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At Aloft Hotels in Silicon Valley and Cupertino, guests who order a small delivery will meet A.L.O. Botlr (short for “robot butler”), who wears a shrink-wrapped Aloft “uniform,” complete with a collar and a name tag. At the door, A.L.O. says “hello,” asks the guests to take their goods, asks how they’re enjoying their stays, and says goodbye. Want to tip him? A.L.O. even accepts tweets using the hashtag #meetbotlr as tips.

Meet A.L.O. Botlr. (Video: YouTube)

A.L.O. was first introduced in Cupertino last year and in Silicon Valley this year. And this month A.L.O. Botlr will be debuting at Aloft South Beach for a test run. But soon, Aloft Hotels will use the robot butler in all of its locations, according to an Aloft spokesperson. 

“All of us at Savioke have seen the look of delight on those guests who receive a room delivery from a robot,” Steve Cousins, the CEO of Savioke the Google-backed company that created both robots. “We’ve also seen the front desk get busy at times, and expect Botlr will be especially helpful… freeing up human talent to interact with guests on a personal level.”

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