The robot butler is here, and its more than just a novelty - at least that's what Starwood's Aloft is attempting to prove with "A.L.O," the brand's first robot butler.
The hotel brand has shortened the robo-butler term to "Botlr," and has introduced A.L.O to the Aloft hotel in the country's tech hub of Silicon Valley. The robot is all dressed up in traditional butler garb - albeit vinyl shrink-wrapped.
The brand will be deploying the Botlr to deliver requested amenities to guest rooms, and has smartly allowed the robot to accept tweets as tips. This whimsical touch offers a clear ongoing marketing ROI, as guests share their experiences after interacting with A.L.O.
This newest Aloft associate will not only free up existing talent’s time, allowing them to create a more personalized experience for guests, but will enhance the hotel’s current tech-forward offerings.
Botlr has been getting plenty of attention on Twitter as well, with users intrigued by the possibility. And rather than reduce the warmth of hospitality, Aloft insists that the robot will free staff up to do more people-intensive tasks that enhance hospitality directly.
The robot was made by robotics specialist Savioke, and the CEO Steve Cousins is excited to see how the robot performs in hospitality - an enormous emerging market for robots.
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.
Starwood's Global Brand Leader of Specialty Select Brands Brian McGuinness sees this as an ideal test, and a way to take specific automatable tasks out of human hands.
As you can imagine, hiring for this particular position was a challenge as we were seeking a very specific set of automated skills, and one that could work – literally – around the clock. As soon as A.L.O. entered the room, we knew it was what we were looking for. A.L.O. has the work ethic of Wall-E, the humor of Rosie from The Jetsons and reminds me of my favorite childhood robot, R2-D2. We are excited to have it join our team.
A.L.O. officially joins the Aloft Silicon Valley team on August 20.