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ALO the robot begins work at Aloft hotel

September 2014

STARWOOD’S Aloft Hotels has announced the appointment of ALO as the hotel brand’s first Botlr (robotic butler). This charismatic cyber associate made his debut at Aloft Cupertino recently, making Aloft the first major hotel brand to hire a robot for both front and back of house duties.

In this role, ALO the Botlr will be on call as a robotic operative where it will be assisting the Aloft talent in delivering amenities to guest rooms. Professionally “dressed” in a custom shrink-wrapped, vinyl collared uniform and nametag, ALO will modestly accept tweets as tips as its wheels whizz from task to task. This newest Aloft associate will not only free up existing talent’s time, allowing them to create a more personalised experience for guests, but will enhance the hotel’s current tech-forward offerings.

“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,” said Brian McGuinness, global brand leader, Starwood’s Specialty Select Brands. “As soon as ALO entered the room, we knew it was what we were looking for. ALO has the work ethic of Wall-E, the humour of Rosie from The Jetsons and reminds me of my favourite childhood robot, R2-D2. We are excited to have it join our team.”

 

SAVIOKE’S ROLE

Prior to its role at Aloft, ALO studied at Savioke – a new company which the robotics community has been eagerly anticipating for this first class of robots – where it double majored in rudimentary tasks and hospitality. Transitioning to its new role as Botlr, ALO will now facilitate and prioritise multiple guest deliveries, communicate effortlessly with guests and various hotel platforms, as well as efficiently navigate throughout the property – including the elevator – with ease. The appointment of ALO represents yet another forward-looking milestone for Aloft, known for its industry-first smart check-in programme, “Cool Concierge” programme and piloting Apple TV in-room services.

“We are thrilled to introduce our robot to the world today through our relationship with Aloft Hotels,” according to Steve Cousins, CEO of Savioke. “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.”

Savioke creates autonomous robots for the services industry.




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