STAMFORD, Conn.—Aloft Hotels has appointed the brand’s first Botlr (robotic butler), A.L.O. The cyber associate makes his debut at Aloft Cupertino today, making Aloft the first major hotel brand to hire a robot for both front- and back-of-house duties.
In this role, A.L.O. the Botlr will be on call as a robotic operative where it will be assisting the Aloft talent in delivering amenities to guestrooms. Professionally “dressed” in a custom shrink-wrapped, vinyl collared uniform and nametag, A.L.O. 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 personalized 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 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.”
Prior to its role at Aloft, A.L.O. 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, A.L.O. will now facilitate and prioritize multiple guest deliveries, communicate with guests and various hotel platforms, as well as navigate throughout the property, including the elevator, with ease. The appointment of A.L.O. represents yet another forward-looking milestone for Aloft, known for its industry-first smart check-in program, “Cool Concierge” program, 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.”
A.L.O. officially reports for duty on Aug. 20 at Aloft Cupertino, with several new Botlrs to join in the upcoming months.