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If you do not like the room, complain to the robot. Is Miami ready for robots in hotels?
Posted on: September 1, 2018

Welcome to the 21st century, where the answer to requesting additional towels at the hotel comes from the hand of a purple robot 4 feet tall.

Miami YotelPad - a building that has not yet finished 30 floors in downtown Miami - will use three robotic butlers to serve guests. These robots do not look like a human being, but are programmed to perform tasks normally assigned to their flesh and blood counterparts: deliver room service foods, play music and even talk.

The company Techmetics, from Singapore, will build the robots. The company reports that it also "employs" robots in casinos and hospitals in more than 100 facilities.

Two of the robots will serve the residents of the complex and one to hotel guests. The robots operate in an automated way and use digital maps to go from one room to another at a speed of about 3 miles per hour. They can even call the elevator. Beyond their delivery responsibilities, they can also serve as guides and take guests to their destination. So far they have no name, but YotelPad will soon hold a contest on social networks to choose it.

"We see these robots as our other technologies: an advance that does not go too far," said David Arditi, hotel developer and president of the Aria Development Group. The company's other projects in South Florida include the luxury apartment building at 321 Ocean in South Beach and the Vista 12 building in Little Havana.

And workers should not fear: robots will not take their jobs, says Arditi.

Other technological features at Yotel include parcel delivery centers, screens showing the Metromover's service hours and private transport services, as well as automatic guest registration points.

A joint venture between Aria Development Group and Kuwaiti real estate firm AQARAT, the Miami micro-hotel will have 231 condos and 222 hotel rooms in an area between 425 and 700 square feet. The project works, at 227 NE Second St., should be completed by the end of 2020.

Residences at YotelPad start at $ 300,000, with study options and two rooms. The owners can rent the apartments in the short term, through platforms such as Airbnb or through Yotel's own program.

Condo sales began in May and interest has been great, said Peggy Olin Fucci, president and founder of OneWorld Properties, the project's broker. Services include a gym, bar, pet boutique and private rooftop space exclusively for residents.

Miami is not the first city to have a Yotel with robots. Yotel Boston is where the first robot butler, called YO2D2, is and the chain also has robots in its stores in New York and Singapore.

The Starwood Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, California, was the first to employ robots in mail delivery work, with two appliances in 2014, said Meghan Wood, editor at Oyster.com. And they were a success: in the first three months, the two robots delivered 610 pieces to the guests. Since then, other hotels have implemented the use of automated devices. EMC2, a boutique hotel in Chicago, has two. And the Henn-na Hotel in Japan is the first to use robots for all its personnel needs and plans to expand to 100 locations in five years.

Savioke, the technology company of Santa Clara, California, which built the Starwood robots, has artifacts in more than 70 hotels around the world.

Wood says that the robot stewards are probably here to stay, and a 2014 survey by the Software Advice firm identified that 51 percent of respondents to a survey preferred that a robot give them things in their room instead of a person.

"Guests at the Residences in LAX would order Starbucks from their rooms only to take a picture with the robotic butler," Wood said.

ButThe experience with the robberies in Miami has not been very good that we say. The robotic parking in Brickell was a disaster, forcing its operators to retire. At the eMerge Americas technology conference in Miami, the keynote speaker, Sophia the Robot, never showed up.

Xavier González, then CEO of eMERGE, blamed the situation on the "South Beach effect".

But Fucci is firm: "People love robots in other hotels. Their success in other places is a big reason why we have them here. "

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