Beginning this August, Boltr will begin its service as the world's first robotic bellhop.
Three feet high and shaped like a garbage can, Boltr can deliver items from the front desk to a guest’s room. Razors, phone chargers and food will all be delivered by the robot, who will then automatically call the guest’s room upon arrival. A series of sensors then detect when the door is opened, prompting the robot to open its storage cache to complete the delivery. Guests can then leave a review in lieu of a tip using a flat panel touch display. Did the robot forget something? Type it in and send it back. Once the review has been placed, the robot does a little dance and is on its way.
The robot also has the ability to navigate its way through the hotel, and can wirelessly send commands to elevators so that it may arrive at the correct floor. Once its done delivering its goods, it also returns to a charging station in the hotel lobby, so that it’s always ready to go the next time it’s needed. Being tested in a hotel that resides in Silicon Valley (near the Apple campus), the robot joins other tech-savvy innovations at the Aloft Hotel. They already feature things such as opening your hotel room with your phone, and pairing your tablet with the hotel TV.
That all said, the Boltr joins a growing number of robots who can do the work of a human being. Google’s self-driving cars, burger making robots, and a growing number of other machines continue to automate the workforce. While some may cry foul, saying that robots will force people out of jobs and ruin the economy, we’ve been automating industry and agriculture for as long as we have worked. And as Boltr creator Steve Cousins argues, automation has actually led to an increase of jobs (albeit in different professions).
“If you really want to create a lot of jobs, just outlaw tractors. The work force would have to go back on the farm, but nobody is willing to do that.”
At GEEK, we get a little nervous around the idea of a robot carrying razor blades, but barring any Terminator-style apocalypses, Boltr sounds like it could be a natural integration to the hotel industry. For one, it’ll drastically reduce the risk of being caught naked by a person delivering room service. But then again, Boltr bursting in with knives and champagne might be even more terrifying.
Image: Battle Creek Enquirer