ABB robot Yobot in a New York Yotel

An ABB robotics system – the only one of its kind in the world – is picking up, storing and retrieving guests’ luggage in the lobby of a large Manhattan hotel in New York City.

By ABB Communications

The ABB articulated arm industrial robot – an IRB 6640 – 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 who promptly retrieves their bags.


“Yobot provides secure, fully automated luggage storage 24 hours a day in a unique and entertaining way that is consistent with the Yotel experience.”

Jo Berrington, Yotel


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 meter 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 meter 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.

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    New York’s newest large hotel, Yotel, is on 10th Avenue, Times Square West, Manhattan.

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