While others are investing to control the rise of the machines and artificial intelligence, Japan has just opened doors to its first fully-robot operated hotel. At the new hotel, which opened to guests on Friday, a robot will not only check you in, but carry your luggage and lead you to your room too. If that wasn’t mind-boggling enough, the hotel claims to be keyless!
“I wanted to highlight innovation,” Mr. Sawada told the Associated Press. “I also wanted to do something about hotel prices going up,” says Hideo Sawada, who runs the hotel in southwest Japan as part of Huis Ten Bosch theme park.
The metal-and-silicone employees at Henn-na Hotel – which translates as “weird hotel” – includes a female-shaped humanoid with blinking lashes that speaks Japanese at the reception desk, alongside an English speaking, dinosaur-shaped robot wearing a bow tie.
Each room has a facial recognition lock instead of the standard electronic keys. A digital image of the guest’s face is registered during check-in.
In the hotel rooms, a high-tech system senses how hot or cold guests are and adjusts the room temperature accordingly.
Each of the 72 rooms has a “Tuly,” a lamp-sized robot in the shape of a fat pink tulip that can answer simple questions like, “What time is it?” and “What is the weather tomorrow?” Guests can also tell Tuly to turn the room lights on or off, as there are no switches on the walls. Sounds like a personal Siri running the hotel to me!
However, the concept is not just a gimmick to be different – there is method to the madness as Mr. Sawada, explains that he wants to achieve reduced hotel prices by increasing efficiency through the use of robots.
According to the Associated Press, rooms at the Henn-na Hotel start at 9,000 yen ($80), a bargain for Japan, where five-star hotels cost two or three times as much.