Finding a place to store your luggage before or after checkout can be frustrating. Even if the hotel offers to hold your bags, it doesn’t guarantee the bags will be there when you get back, or that they’ll be in one piece. New York City’s Yotel, the hotel that bills itself as offering affordable luxury, uses a robot to manage luggage storage.
Yotel collaborated with MFG Automation to adapt a robotic arm normally used in factory assembly. The huge machine is behind a glass wall where guests can watch it work. Using a touchscreen, guests enter the number and size of their bags. The robotic arm, named Yobot, then brings a container to a drop off area where the guest places the luggage and enters a pin number and last name. The box is weighed and returned to the wall of lockers. Yobot issues a receipt with bar code for guests to submit when they want to pick up their bag.
The system is simple and adds to the tech friendly vibe of the hotel. Gerard Greene, CEO of Yotel, tells Frame,
‘We think form follows function, and we wanted to use industrial forms as art, rather than paintings or sculptures – that’s been done before. Nobody else has a moving Yobot in the reception of their hotel.”