The latest robot-staffed Henn-na Hotel opened in Japan last week, with an electronic dinosaur manning the front desk and offering concierge services to guests in multiple languages.
The 100-room Henn-na — Japanese for “strange” — is situated near Tokyo Disneyland, in Chiba, and operators are confident that park visitors will be OK with this odd new way of lodging. Each room has an egg-shaped robot helper which can answer questions and that simple tasks like turning on the TV and finding out the weather.
A motorized talking garbage can in the lobby collects tourists’ litter, hopefully without any trash talk. Like all the hotel’s robot employees, it’s fluent in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. Henn-na is also a keyless hotel, with doors opening via facial-recognition technology.
It’s the second robot-powered hotel designed by H.I.S. Co., which hopes to open 100 more in the next five years. The first Henn-na Hotel opened in July 2015 near a theme park in Nagasaki.
CEO Hideo Sawada said his robot workers will make the hotels the “most efficient” on earth.
“Having robots in charge of the reception and placing robots everywhere, we aim to make it the most efficient hotel in the world,” said Mr Sawada at the Chiba inn’s opening.
At least seven humans will be on hand at all times, in case their robot co-workers go haywire. With rates ranging from $123 to $265 a night, the hotel is 80 per cent booked for the rest of the month, officials said.
By David K. Li from The New York Post