World’s First Robot-Staffed Hotel to Open in Japan

A robot-staffed hotel, said to be the world’s first, is set to open in Japan in July where guests checking into the futuristic facility will be greeted and served by remarkably human-like robots.

Huis Ten Bosch, a theme park in typical Dutch style in terms of its architecture in Nagasaki Prefecture has unveiled plans to open the modern hotel with robot staff and other advanced technologies to significantly reduce operating costs.

The hotel will be called Henn-na Hotel, which translates as Strange Hotel. The hotel will be partially staffed by what are termed ‘actroid’ androids – remarkably human-like robots who will be able to greet, carry luggage to rooms, make cups of coffee –and even smile.

The robots will be able to speak Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English. According to the park, the first phrase of the two-story hotel will open on July 17 with 72 rooms. The second phrase will be completed in 2016 with an additional 72 rooms.

The hotel will have three robots that will act as receptionists apart from four service and porter robots, and others engaged in menial tasks such as cleaning.

“We’ll make the most efficient hotel in the world,” boasts Huis Ten Bosch president Hideo Sawada. Sawada says he hopes robots will eventually run 90 per cent of the property.

“In the future, we’re hoping to build 1,000 similar hotels around the world,” says Sawada, CNN quoted Japan’s Nikkei News as saying. Other features will help make Henn-na the most futuristic low-cost hotel in the industry, according to the company.

Guestroom doors will be accessed by facial-recognition technology. Amenities provided in rooms will be kept minimal. Guests can request items through a tablet when needed.

Instead of air-conditioning, a radiation panel will detect body heat in rooms and adjust the temperature. Solar power and other energy-saving features will be used to reduce operating costs.

Room rates will vary depending on demand. Instead of being presented with a fixed price, guests will bid for rooms during peak season. The highest bidders will secure rooms, though there will be a price cap on bidding.

The hotel says room fees at opening will be from 7,000 Yen (USD 60) for a single room to 18,000 Yen (USD 153), the highest possible price after bidding, for a triple room.

Source: Japan’s Robot Staffed Hotel


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