Southwestern Japan now hosts the world’s first ever hotel where check-ins and check-outs are being done by a robot. Not just any robot, not even a human-looking robot, but a robot dinosaur. With a hat and bowtie.
In fact, the entire hotel is run by robots, some who do look human, others who look like industrial robots, and other who look like cartoon robots. Some carry the guests’ luggage while others clean their rooms, and others prepare breakfast, but visitors have described all of them as “warm and friendly”. What’s more, they are believed to be capable of engaging in intelligent conversations with people.
The building has been named “Henn-na Hotel”, or “Strange Hotel” if you translate it into English, is the first hotel to not have any human workers and saves a labor costs as a consequence. It opened its door earlier this week.
Hideo Sawada, president of Huis Ten Bosch, has decided to run the hotel as a component of an amusement park as he believes this will promote the robots better. But he insists that the approach is not meant to be seen as gimmicky, and that his intention is to show how this technology can be used in order to achieve efficiency.
Tourists who don’t speak Japanese are met by an English-speaking robot dinosaur, while Japanese speaking guests are met by a Japanese-speaking, human-looking female robot. The robots instruct visitors to press “one” if they’d like to check in. After pressing this button on the touch panel screen, the guests also have to type in their information.
The innovative “home away from home” has also left behind the use of traditional electronic keys and replaced the system with facial reconviction software. The guests get their faces scanned and registered in a database during check-in, and the software knows that they’re the rightful owners of their room for the duration of their stay.
But the reason why the innovative facial reconviction system was employed is that tests showed robots weren’t very good at finding electronic keys in the event that any of the guests lost theirs.
Another “attraction” is the industrial-looking robot with a giant arm. It sits in a glass room in the lobby and uses a small opening to offer guests a security box they can use to place items that they’d like to keep safe. It then takes it back from the guests and stores it into a wall the guests need it again.
Some of the main reasons Sawada had the hotel built is that he wanted to cut down hotel prices, save energy and come up with a self-sufficient hotel that’s powered by solar energy as well as machines.
The robot run hotel is indeed cheap for Japan. Prices start at 9.000 yen ($80), as opposed to two (2) or three (3) times as much, which is what staying at a typical nice hotel in Japan costs.
The rooms have no refrigerators, lights use motion sensors, and room temperatures are being kept in check with the help of an energy-efficient air conditioning system with a radiant panel.
Sawada very much wants to expand the business, with Chinese and Korean being considered as additional languages that the robots should speak and understand, and the hope being that 1.000 such hotels will be built around the world in the upcoming years.
The Strange Hotel was initially presented to reporters on Wednesday (July 15, 205), before opening its gates to the public on Friday (July 17, 2015).
Image Source: kinja-img.com