Science & Hi-Tech

The bellhop you don’t have to tip: Miami hotel to employ robot butler

A Miami hotel has hired a robot to handle room service. Yotelpad, a 30-story building that
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A Miami hotel has hired a robot to handle room service. 

Yotelpad, a 30-story building that’s part hotel, part condominium, is employing three robot butlers for guests and residents. 

The nearly four-foot-tall purple robots get around on wheels and feature a cute, smiling face on a screen that greets guests as they arrive. 

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A Miami hotel has hired a robot to handle room service. Yotelpad, a 30-story building that’s part hotel, part condominium, is employing three robot butlers for guests and residents

The machines can deliver room service, bring extra towels, give directions, chat with guests and play music. 

They can even use the elevator, according to the Miami Herald

It’s programmed to say a variety of different greetings and responses. A touchscreen on the device is enabled to show several facial expressions. 

However, the robo-bellhops aren’t likely to replace human employees anytime soon. 

They only move up to three miles per hour and aren’t capable of carrying bags just yet.

‘We see these robots like we see our other technology: an enhancement that doesn’t go too far,’ David Arditi, the hotel’s developer, told the Herald. 

The nearly four-foot-tall purple robots get around on wheels and feature a cute, smiling face on a screen that greets guests as they arrive. They can even use the elevator 

The nearly four-foot-tall purple robots get around on wheels and feature a cute, smiling face on a screen that greets guests as they arrive. They can even use the elevator 

It's programmed to say a variety of different greetings and responses. A touchscreen on the device is enabled to show several facial expressions

It’s programmed to say a variety of different greetings and responses. A touchscreen on the device is enabled to show several facial expressions

Singapore-based robotics firm Techmetics created the machines, which feature a range of sensors and cameras to get to and from each room. 

The robots are also fully automatic, meaning they require no human control or intervention.  

In addition to hospitality robots, Techmetics has also supplied machines to casinos, hospitals and factories.

The robo-bellhops don’t currently have a name, but Yotelpad is hosting a social media campaign to find one, the Herald noted. 

Aside from robot butlers, Yotelpad has other futuristic devices for use by guests, including digital package delivery hubs, transit screens and self check-in kiosks. 

Yotel Boston features its own robot butler, aptly named Yo2D2, while New York and Singapore’s Yotel locations have robot baggage handlers, called Yobots.  

Some Yotel properties also include adjustable smartbeds. 

Living with a robot butler doesn’t come cheap, either. Studio residences start at $300,000, with one- and two-bedroom options costing more. 

Aside from robot butlers, Yotelpad has other futuristic devices for use by guests, including digital package delivery hubs, transit screens and self check-in kiosks (pictured)

Aside from robot butlers, Yotelpad has other futuristic devices for use by guests, including digital package delivery hubs, transit screens and self check-in kiosks (pictured)

Yotel Boston features its own robot butler, aptly named Yo2D2, while New York and Singapore's Yotel locations have robot baggage handlers, called Yobots

Yotel Boston features its own robot butler, aptly named Yo2D2, while New York and Singapore’s Yotel locations have robot baggage handlers, called Yobots

Yotelpad isn’t quite at the same level as the world’s first robot-run hotel. 

Located in Japan, the Henn na Hotel, which translates in English to the Weird Hotel, has android robots that greet guests, deliver packages and serve coffee. 

An animatronic dinosaur, sporting a hat and a bowtie, welcomes guests at the reception desk and instructs them to push a button to check in. 

Additionally, a robot trolley will take guests’ luggage to and from their rooms.     

WILL YOUR JOB BE TAKEN BY A ROBOT?

A report in November 2017 suggested that physical jobs in predictable environments, including machine-operators and fast-food workers, are the most likely to be replaced by robots.

Management consultancy firm McKinsey, based in New York, focused on the amount of jobs that would be lost to automation, and what professions were most at risk.

The report said collecting and processing data are two other categories of activities that increasingly can be done better and faster with machines. 

This could displace large amounts of labour – for instance, in mortgages, paralegal work, accounting, and back-office transaction processing.

Conversely, jobs in unpredictable environments are least are risk.

The report added: ‘Occupations such as gardeners, plumbers, or providers of child- and eldercare – will also generally see less automation by 2030, because they are technically difficult to automate and often command relatively lower wages, which makes automation a less attractive business proposition.’


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