For me, part of the fun of staying in a big city hotel is trying to figure out whom I tip. When I say "fun," of course I mean "misery."

Who do I hand money, and for what? Opened my door? Carried my bags? Got me a cab? Recommended a restaurant? Brought me room-service? Some seasoned travelers will tell you the answer is yes to all of the above.

However, there might be an exception to the tipping model. What about robots?

Up until recently, that would have simply been future speculation. I mean, how many robots does one encounter while one travels about? Not many, but that's starting to change.

Spend a night at the Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, California, and, if you order room service, you may meet something officially called A.L.O. Botlr, which is short for "robot butler."

From Engadget:

If you plan to stay in Cupertino's high-tech Aloft Hotel in the near future, don't be surprised if you open your door to a 3-foot-tall robot carrying extra towels or breakfast. See, it's the Starwood property's new butler, programmed to assist the hotel's concierge in catering to your requests. The 100-pound machine comes loaded with a 7-inch tablet screen to interact with guests and staff, as well as 4G and WiFi connections so it can call elevators when it needs a ride. Let's say you pinged front desk to ask for new toiletries -- the staff then just loads the items (as long as they don't exceed 10 pounds) in an empty compartment on top of the robot and inputs your floor and room number on the tablet interface. You'll know Botlr's lurking outside the door when it calls up the room's phone, and instead of a crisp $20 bill, all it asks in return is a tweet with the #meetbotlr hashtag.

No tip, just a tweet, and everyone's happy? Count me in.

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