Yotel New York located on 42nd Street and Tenth Avenue, where visitors check in at computerised kiosks while their luggage is stored or retrieved by a giant robotic arm – Yobot , a 15 foot automated luggage handler. Opened in June 2011,the hotel is based on the concept of Japanese ‘capsule’ hotels with 669 rooms bills itself as offering affordable luxury, uses a robot to manage luggage storage.
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.
We think form follows function, and we wanted to use industrial forms as art, rather than paintings or sculptures – that’s been done before,’ says Gerard Greene, CEO of Yotel, which collaborated with MFG Automation for the project. ‘Nobody else has a moving Yobot in the reception of their hotel.’ The concept suits tech-savvy Yotel, which has an automated check-in service as well.