The New York Times reports on the deployment of Botlr, a robotic bellhop designed to "shuttle items from the hotel lobby desk to guest rooms." The robot is one of the first of a new generation of devices that "are starting to walk or roll around the everyday world."
The robot, which has a camera and other sensors, can recognize that the room door has been opened and then lift the lid on the storage bin that holds the delivery. A flat panel display at the top of the robot is used for the guest to enter a “review” rather than giving a tip. In return for a positive review, the robot will do a small dance before it departs.
Perhaps the most impressive capability of the new robot is its ability to independently make its way to upper floors. When it reaches the elevator, it wirelessly sends a command for the door to open and then maneuvers into the elevator car, taking care to stay out of the way of any human passengers.
When it returns to the lobby, Botlr can plug itself into a recharging station while it awaits its next errand.
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