The A.L.O. Botlr has passed its pre-employment screening and the robotic bulter is preparing to deliver concierge services to guests at the Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, Calif.
If all goes well during the on-the-job testing period and the Botlr doesn't break any of Isaac Asimov's Laws of Robotics, the three-foot-tall robot could be joined by others -- and others still could pop up in hotels around the world until everyone is desensitized to their presence.
CEO Steve Cousins of Savioke, the organization that conceptualized and constructed the Botlr, said his company expects the Boltr to pull its weight around the Silicon Valley hotel.
"We are thrilled to introduce our robot to the world today through our relationship with Aloft Hotels," said Cousins. "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."
The Botlr will rove the Aloft Hotel of speeds of up to four miles per hour, shuttling items between guests and storerooms. The robot can make its way to any of the hotels 150 rooms in under three minutes.
With built-in Wi-Fi and 4G, the Botlr can call elevators and sync it's arrival with the lifts. Instead of knocking, which may or may not be extremely terrifying, the Boltr will notify hotel guests of its arrival via phone.
The Botlr will get its opportunity to prove itself when its trial begins on Aug. 20. Savioke was said to have reached an exclusive agreement on the Botlr with Starwood, the parent company behind the Aloft Hotels chain -- the "A.L.O." in the Botlr's title was granted due to the hotel chain's interest in the project and it isn't an acronym.
Starwood said it could roll out a couple of Botlrs at each of its more than 100 hotels, if the trial goes well. At the end of the exclusive deal with Starwood, which terminates at the end of 2014, Savioke could work with other hotels to commission Botlrs.
"Who wouldn't be intrigued by a hotel robot that looks like R2D2?," said Julia Cosgrove, editor-in-chief of travel publication Afar. "Right now it feels like an interesting gimmick for Aloft, but if Botlr provides efficient, seamless service for guests, it could signal a trend in a new kind of automation in hospitality. That being said, there's nothing like human interaction for intuitive service."
Many people may be intrigued by the Botlr, but at least one billionaire may be a bit worried.
Here's a video of the Botlr going about his day.