NY hotel books Yobot the luggage-handling robot
Is it any surprise robots are now invading our hotels too? At the Yotel, opening soon in Times Square, a robotic arm will hoist your bags into a storage locker--for a small fee.
Not so keen on schlepping your suitcases through the streets of New York City after checking out of your hotel? Hand them over to Yobot, the luggage-handling robot.
The 15-foot bot will await visitors in the lobby of Yotel, which opens June 1 in Times Square and calls itself the "iPod of the hotel industry" for such sleek techno flourishes as touch-screen check-in, flat-panel TVs, purple mood lighting--and, of course, Yobot.
The robotic arm can pick up luggage and put it in one of 133 storage lockers in the hotel lobby in case you want to walk around unencumbered before or after checking in. You get a bar-coded ticket, which you then put into the system when you're ready for Yobot to fetch your stash.
Yobot's luggage lugging costs $2 a bag, so presumably you don't have to tip (although Yobot would probably offer a steely wave of appreciation if you did). You can, of course, store your luggage in most hotels for free, but then you get one less cool photo to show your friends back home in Minnetonka.
Robotic arms already reach out toand , among other demographics, but this is the first we've heard of an automated arm helping travelers haul their bags.
Is humanoid hotel hospitality next?...