Last updated: 02:41 PM ET, Tue August 18 2015

Yobot Just The Latest Robot Leading a Hotel Revolution

Hotel & Resort | Ryan Rudnansky | May 14, 2015

Yobot Just The Latest Robot Leading a Hotel Revolution

Photo courtesy of Huis Ten Bosch

At this point, robots are supposed to be taking over the world, according to science fiction movies from the past.

Instead, they are helping people, and that includes in the hospitality industry.

Yet another robotic hotel staff member has emerged to the forefront lately. The forward-thinking Yotel New York has deployed “Yobot,” per CNBC.

Yobot, which used to transport materials in industrial complexes, is now being used to handle luggage. The robot is essentially an extra brawny and hyper-energetic bellman, possessing the ability to lift 500 pounds and service 300 pieces of luggage on a busy day (117 storage bins available). 

In turn, Yobot is freeing up the hands of human hotel staff members and helping them service guests in other ways.

Yotel New York, which opened in 2011, was also the first hotel to offer a fully automated check-in and checkout process. It features six kiosks for checking in and checking out. According to the hotel, it takes about one minute to check in via a kiosk and about 95 percent of guests use the kiosks instead of checking in at the front desk.

Other hotels have also been experimenting with the use of robots.

Aloft Hotels properties such as Aloft Cupertino and Aloft Silicon Valley feature robots called “Botlr” that deliver food and amenities to guests, via a partnership between Aloft Hotels and Silicon Valley startup Saviok.

Henn-na Hotel in Japan’s Huis Ten Bosch theme park will open on July 17 staffed entirely by robots, featuring robotic receptionists, service bots, porters and more. Additionally, facial recognition technology will be used to open guestroom doors, in-room radiation panels will detect body heat and adjust the temperature accordingly, and solar power and other technological energy-saving means will be deployed.

Sure, robots may still be taking over the world when it comes to sheer numbers.

But the apocalyptic prophecies from sci-fi movies appear to be an exaggeration. If robots simply help us become more efficient in our daily lives, that will do just fine.


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