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Robot Room Service Hits Aloft Hotel Group
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Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
8/13/2014 | 11:12:42 AM
The Botler did it
If it can shorten wait times for guests, great. I love that it is programmed to do a little dance. But will a robot fee be far behind the resort fee? Let's hope not :)
Whoopty
IW Pick
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
8/13/2014 | 11:15:14 AM
Robots raise the bar
I don't see robots replacing all humans in any particular field, as I think it will be a long, long time before the professional courtersy and warmth of another human being can be achieved by a robot. Chances are they will replace the less skilled and certainly less desireable positions though, so I can see workers everywhere having to step their game up to make it so that the job they do is better than a robot. 

Essentially, the job market is going to get a lot more saturated. 
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
8/13/2014 | 11:22:39 AM
I'm in favor of room service that doesn't require a tip
I never know whether it's appropriate to tip the guy who comes up to my room to replenish some supply that should have been there in the first place, so I usually don't. A robot would save me the doubt and guilt. I might be able to spare a hashtag if the service comes quickly.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
8/13/2014 | 1:05:29 PM
Re: The Botler did it
I wouldn't be happy with the hotel if they added a robot fee in the fine print for R2D2 to deliver me towels or soap. But as robots become more sophisticated, a robot fee could be added to the price of the room.

As for hotel workers thinking Botler is "cute." Will it still be cute when a model can deliver room service food or vacuum hallways and rooms? That's encroaching on human worker territory.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
8/13/2014 | 2:33:54 PM
Re: I'm in favor of room service that doesn't require a tip
There are hotels in NY that use robot systems to stow guest luggage already. That means fewer bellmen/porters. No question about it.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/13/2014 | 4:30:17 PM
Re: The Botler did it
I expect the automation of labor will be like the proverbial frog in boiling water: It will happen so gradually no one will noticed until it's too late.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/13/2014 | 4:43:11 PM
Re: The Botler did it
Cousins insisted that his company worked hard to keep costs down, which helps explain the bot's limited functionality. It will be interesting to see whether hotel bots get obvious security functionality as well -- seems like they should have always-on cameras piped to a security manager.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
8/13/2014 | 5:11:52 PM
Re: Robots raise the bar
I agree that robots won't provide that warmth and personality, and people will be indispensible in those hospitality roles. But a lot of times we would rather not deal with a person. It's 11 pm at a hotel, I'm in my PJs about to go to bed and see I've forgotten my toothpaste. If a robot could drop that right off, I could do without the friendly smile.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Moderator
8/13/2014 | 7:50:17 PM
Re: Robots raise the bar
Part of me thinks that having a robot butler is pretty cool, but on the other hand I am not wild about it. Despite my interest in experiencing having a robot butler cater to me at least once, I have my reservations about rolling out this service.I am not totally convinced that these robot butlers won't threaten the jobs typically allocated for humans. Plus, I think it is impersonal and is another step in making us lack in the skill of interpersonal skills on a face to face basis.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Moderator
8/13/2014 | 7:53:22 PM
Re: Robots raise the bar
@Laurianne, I guess it might be cute to see a robot dance, but I think I would prefer a human to do a dance and deliver my towels or midnight snack.
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