If one day you find yourself in Cupertino (California, USA), and dwell in the high-tech hotel Aloft, do not be surprised that your door can “knock” robot that will bring fresh towels and breakfast. The fact that the hotel started using the robot ALO Botlr (short for «robot butler» – robot butler) to help a real live Concierge and it is programmed to perform all your reasonable wishes.
Robot weighing 45 kilograms and growth of 1 meter to interact with the guests and the hotel staff has a 7-inch tablet, as well as support for 4G-network and Wi-Fi-module, with which he can cause the elevators, if necessary up to the upper floors of the building. Say, the hotel requires new toiletries. He calls to the reception. Once answered, the hotel is placed in a special basket robot all the necessary things (maximum tolerable weight of the robot is only about one kilogram), and then injected into the tablet information about the floor and the right room. When Botlr closer to the desired hotel room, he would call on the phone and tell the guest that arrived. Tip robot asks. The best way to thank him would be sending “tweets” with the hash tag #meetbotlr.
It should be noted that the ALO Botlr is an upgraded and redesigned version of the robot SaviOne, developed by the California startup Savioke. Despite the fact that this company has only recently appeared on the market, it has an interest in Google , which is it, and bought. What’s interesting is the guidance of Google Ventures, which bought the company Savioke, engaged Steven Cousins, had served as CEO of Willow Garage, to let the robot PR2. In fact, very similar to the PR2 robot Botlr, but the latter has been designed for that purpose, in order to appear more friendly people. Perhaps the only major difference from Botlr PR2 is that he has no hands, and thus can not perform assignments requiring their presence, and it is much cheaper to produce than the PR2. Especially when you consider that the complex mechanism of hands PR2 is the lion’s share of its development costs.
Botlr debut as a butler at Aloft on 20 August. If the pilot program proves successful, then in each of more than 100 hotels Aloft, owned by Starwood, in the future, you may receive one or two such robots. Senior Vice President Brian McGuinness, Aloft promises that these robots will not take the place of these workers live, but will be able to set them free from the constant and routine occupations. See robots Botlr at other hotels in the near future will not work, because Starwood has signed an exclusive contract with Savioke the end of 2014. Nevertheless, the startup plans to launch pilot programs involving Bolter at other hotels in the coming year.