Robot hotel opening in Japan to save on labour costs

16 Jul 2015

A new hotel in Japan is opening that sees robots and humanoids replacing general hotel staff in different parts of the building. It’s called Henn na Hotel (Evolve Hotel) and will look at new technology for consistent improvements.

Flush with cute replacement of standard items to suit the capability of robot staff – facial recognition is used instead of keys because robots aren’t great at searching down the side of a couch, an automatic trolley brings your luggage to your room – the hotel aspires to achieve efficiency.

For example, the cloakroom looks like a car manufacturing facility, with a robot arm bringing you your locker and then placing it in a safe compartment until you need it again. Nothing strange here, folks, just a normal hotel…

Front lobby of the robot hotel in Japan

But it’s not just efficiency that Henn na Hotel is aware of, it also knows a good marketing tool. Especially so when you consider the hotel is slap bang in the middle of an amusement park.

“I wanted to highlight innovation,” said Hideo Sawada, the man running Henn na. “I also wanted to do something about hotel prices going up.”

In future, there will be drones delivering snacks to rooms, with robots whizzing around the hotel cleaning up and helping guests.

Oh and the front desk robots are dinosaurs. I can see absolutely no way that this could end badly. Ruptly’s video of the hotel provides a better picture:

Main image via Shutterstock, hotel image via Henn Na Hotel

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic