Japan’s Henn-na Hotel (which means “weird hotel”) has a workforce almost entirely made up of robots. Hotel staff are mostly female-shaped humanoid robots that blink, speak Japanese and even know English. There is also a dinosaur-shaped robot with a bow tie that helps customers at the reception desk.
The robot workforce is not a gimmick to entertain a public with future-like amenities, but a true effort to move hotel services into the future.
“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. “I also wanted to do something about hotel prices going up.”
Another futuristic element of the hotel is that there are no room keys. When a guest registers — through an automated service — a picture is taken of their face, and when the guest wishes to enter their room, the door will unlock as soon as the system recognizes their face.
A high-tech system also senses how cold or hot a guest feels and will change the room temperature accordingly. You can also tell the room to turn the lights on or off. Some robots can even initiate simple forms of room service, like delivering snacks and beverages.