Robots run new Japanese hotel

Remember the good old days of porters and bellboys attending to your every need? Did you ever imagine that one day, in the future, they would be made of metal and plastic? Well, that day has arrived.

Japan’s Henn-na Hotel, which translates to ‘strange hotel’, will have lifelike androids manning the reception desk. And when we say lifelike, we mean humanoid replicas designed to look like polite Japanese girls that speak multiple languages, wear cloth uniforms, exhibit realistic body language, make hand gestures and replicate breathing. The robotic receptionists’ eyes will even follow you as you move around.

Eerie, right? But don’t fret too much. Human staff will be on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly and that the robots don’t revolt. However, company president, Hideo Sawada, hopes that the androids will eventually carry out 90 per cent of the hotel’s operations.

The robots, known as ‘actroids’, will be capable of greeting guests, carrying luggage, cleaning rooms and, according to The Washington Post, ‘seizing control of the planet for mankind’s own good’. Luckily, that last one was a joke, but you never know …

The hotel will also use four service and porter robots, one robot cloakroom attendant and several cleaning robots. And if that wasn’t strange enough, the hotel aims to further qualify its moniker, by being located in a theme park called Huis Ten Bosch, which is a replica of a typical Dutch town.

The reduced operating costs mean that the rooms will be much less expensive than many other hotels. The Henn-na Hotel opens in July 2015, and at only US$79 a night, the temptation will be there for many to try out this weird, almost maniacal accommodation adventure.

Read more at The Daily Mail.

Images courtesy of Japan National Tourism Organisation.

Would you stay in a hotel run by robots? Would lower accommodation costs, or state-of-the-art facilities change your mind? How do you feel about the advent of lifelike automation?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.