The idea that robots could one day replace humans by taking over mundane tasks is proving to be more of a reality than science fiction for those staying at Yotel in New York.
The hotel chain added a robot luggage handler called ‘Yobot’ to its workforce last year at its newest outpost in New York.
The giant robotic arm, which collects, stores and retrieves luggage in the hotel lobby for $2 (£1.25) per bag, now has a new trick: it can “chute” guests’ bags to the airport following their stay, via underground tunnels.
The new underground tunnel system links Yotel with the city’s airports and was built with the cooperation of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
JetBlue’s baggage handlers have become the first to link up with the service – with more airlines to follow, according to the hotel chain.
Yotel said it also wants to introduce a luggage tracker phone app in future so that guests can follow the journey of their bags from hotel to airport.
Robot-carrying luggage is not the only futuristic service offered at Yotel in New York’s Midtown.
Airport-style check-in screens are also installed in the lobby.
Yotel – which first popped up in airport locations in Europe – has taken its design cues from Japanese capsule hotels and air travel.
Its compact cabin rooms – which can be booked by the hour at its airport locations in Amsterdam and London – are futuristic in design, with space saving features such as fold-down work desks, flat-screen wall mounted TVs and in some rooms, motorised beds that extend like a First Class airline bed.