ABB articulated-arm industrial robot serves as automated luggage-storage and -retrieval system


Designed for safety, security, and intuitive interface

Click image to enlarge: Yotel's lobby and Yobot—the luggage handling robot—built on an ABB articulating-arm industrial robot platform

An ABB articulated-arm industrial robot is serving as an automated luggage-storage and -retrieval system in the lobby of the largest hotel to be opened in New York this year. The new 669-room Yotel hotel is located in the Times Square West area of Manhattan, close to the heart of New York's theater and entertainment district. Yotel is the brand name of the company, which operates three other hotels in London and Amsterdam. Appropriately named Yobot, the theatrically illuminated robot is the central feature in the lobby and a star attraction in its own right for hotel guests and the many passersby on busy 10th Avenue. Housed behind a secure glass enclosure, the robot picks up and stores guests' luggage in one of 117 lockers. When the guests are ready to leave, they present their bar-coded receipt to Yobot, which promptly retrieves their bags. Yobot is an ABB IRB 6640 industrial robot that is used all over the world in heavy-lift applications like material handling, machine tending, and spot welding. With its long 3-m reach and 60 kg payload, Yobot has the capacity and agility to reach all 117 storage lockers and safely lift the heaviest of bags. The robot is mounted on a 5-m floor track where it moves between the handover point and the storage lockers, which are stacked to ceiling height against two walls within the enclosed area. The lockers are in three sizes for large, small, and smaller bags. The system is carefully designed to provide the necessary safety and security while providing an intuitive interface for users who have never experienced such a system. It takes Yobot only 30 seconds or less to complete a storage or retrieval operation. "Yobot has become a celebrity in its own right," says Jo Berrington, Yotel spokesperson. "It adds a fun element to the initial guest experience and, of course, helps to free up our crew to provide their usual professional, warm, and friendly welcome." The Yobot system was designed and installed by MFG Automation of Ashford, Connecticut, an established ABB system integrator primarily serving industrial customers in the food and beverage, plastics, aerospace, and general manufacturing sectors. ABB ABB robotics deeplink MFG Automation