A.L.O. Robot Butler Serves You At Aloft Hotel

A.L.O. (pronounced "el-oh") is the Starwood Hotel's Aloft brand robot butler which will soon be on staff.


(A.L.O. stands ready in the lobby)

Standing just under 3 feet tall, A.L.O. comes dressed in a vinyl-collared butler uniform and will soon be on call all day and night to fulfill requests from guests.

Forget your toothpaste? Need more towels? How about a late-night chocolate bar? All guests of the hotel have to do is call the front desk, where staff will load up the Botlr with requested items, punch in the guest's room number and send it off to make the delivery. The bot can navigate hallways and even call for the elevator using Wi-Fi.

According to a study done at the University of Oxford, 47 percent of U.S. employment is at risk of being replaced by computerization, but Starwood says these robots are not intended to replace any employees...

The Botlr was designed and built by Sunnyvale, California, start-up Savioke, which in April announced a seed round of funding of $2 million from investors, including Google Ventures.

A.L.O. the robotic butler will debut on August 20th at the Aloft hotel in Cupertino, California.

Science fiction fans may recall the butler-valet robot from William Tenn's 1951 short story The Jester:

The man in the visored helmet inserted a convoluted length of iridium - an official Robot Master Key - into the back of the robot's neck. Two full clanking turns and the machinery purred. Eyebrow ridges clinked upward. Multi-linked lips pursed questioningly.

"My fiancee, Josephine Lilly... designed it," Lester told him proudly. "Her idea of what a butler-valet combo should look like - sort of in the ancient English tradition..."
(Read more about William Tenn's butler-valet robot)

Want to see more robotic butlers? Take a look at these four robot butlers. Via NBC News and also New York Times.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/11/2014)

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