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Hotel guests, this robot is at your service

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In "Star Wars," R2-D2 and C-3PO were involved in nothing less than vanquishing an evil empire. In reality, robots are bellhops. Aloft Hotels, which has a location in downtown Detroit, introduced its newest employee Tuesday -- Botlr. The three-foot robot, which looks like R2-D2 sans arms and legs, brings amenities to guests in the hotel lobby or right to their rooms. Moving on wheels, the machine has an enclosed bin that can hold anything from toothpaste to bottled water to whatever else the guest might desire.


Hotel guests, this robot is at your service

#artificialintelligence

Aloft Hotel spokeswoman Ashley Chapman said the robot's performance of mundane tasks frees staff more time to interact with people. Detroit -- In "Star Wars," R2-D2 and C-3PO were involved in nothing less than vanquishing an evil empire. Aloft Hotels, which has a location in downtown Detroit, introduced its newest employee Tuesday -- Botlr. The three-foot robot, which looks like R2-D2 sans arms and legs, brings amenities to guests in the hotel lobby or right to their rooms. Moving on wheels, the machine has an enclosed bin that can hold anything from toothpaste to bottled water to whatever else the guest might desire.


Savioke - Meet the Relay

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Robots Are Invading Malls (and Sidewalks) Near You

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At the upscale Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California, people are taking selfies with a roving robot that looks like a cross between Wall-E's girlfriend and R2D2. It's actually a K5 robot security guard--a 300-pound, sensor-filled droid made by a startup called Knightscope that patrols the area and detects suspicious behavior. K5 is part of a small but growing number of human-scale mobile robots that are finding employment outside the confines of industrial settings like factories. They're invading consumer spaces including retail stores, hotels, and sidewalks in a quest to deliver services alongside human staff members for a fraction of the price of employing people to do a variety of typically unexciting tasks. The machines come with navigation capabilities and safety features to allow them to perform simple jobs autonomously without putting people at risk.


7 ways AI will revolutionize business travel

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In April, United Airlines hit a huge pocket of public relations turbulence after a passenger was forcibly removed from one of its partners' airplanes. The incident raised questions about blindly following procedures, passenger rights, and United's executive leadership. Here's another question it raised: Could artificial intelligence (AI) have prevented the embarrassing drama from even happening? Get the latest insights with our CIO Daily newsletter. AI and machine learning are already impacting many areas of business, such as marketing, as well as most industries, including retail.