DETROIT - A glimpse of our Jetson's-inspired future is currently rolling around a downtown Detroit hotel. It goes five hours on a single charge and accepts tweets, not tips.
Minding my own business reading the free press in the lobby of the David Whitney building when suddenly this robot rolls up and serves me cold bottled water so naturally, I tip a buck.
"So we are introducing Botlr to Detroit,” said Eric Marlo, Lead Innovator of Aloft hotels.
Botlr, a Bluetooth and GPS guided autonomous tuxedoed butler currently on a nationwide tour for its owner, Aloft hotels.
It's like a Roomba that delivers room service instead of vacuuming.
"Botlr essentially delivers guests items up to their rooms,” said Marlo. “The guests call to the front desk and request items or towels.” “We load Botlr up, type in your room number and essentially it goes right to your room.”
“He talks to the elevator via Bluetooth, so it calls the elevator on its own and is integrated with the phone system so when he is at your door he will place you a call,” said Marlo.
Eric is piloting Botlr with a PlayStation controller because the hotel here hasn't been mapped for Botlr's guidance.
Aloft says it's a bot that adds to hospitality and wow factor.
Two other Botlr's are already wheeling around Aloft properties in California and Detroit could have one too in the future.