We already knew that Japan’s robotic industry aims to boost growth in all industries. But the quirky Henn na Hotel in Sasebo is really a wonder.
Henn na Hotel also translates in English as the Weird Hotel. Nothing short of fitting for the quirky robotic operators fulfilling the roles of concierge, bellboy, luggage carrier, automatic servant specially designed for the room one intends to occupy or the safeguard of your valuables deposited in secured boxes.
It is a feast to watch the video captured Wednesday during the opening of the Henn na Hotel in the Japanese western town of Sasebo. The public is already to check in starting Friday.
Hideo Sawada, the CEO of the low-budget Japanese travelling company HIS and owner of the robotics dream come true Weird Hotel took a leap of faith at combining Japan’s tradition in robotics with low-cost hotel accommodation.
In Sawada’s view, labor costs can be efficiently cut if the receptionist is replaced with a robot Velociraptor that will politely, albeit intimidatingly guide you through the process of checking-in. In English, mind you. Another lobby receptionist is the humanoid robot, luring customers with her perfect dimensions, movements, vocabulary.
The things that make the matter of dreams for children and adults alike meet in Weird Hotel, yet are pinned by real-life economic concerns and innovation.
Sawada declared for those present:
“I wanted to highlight innovation. I also wanted to do something about hotel prices going up. I think low-cost hotels will become a trend just as low-cost airlines did.”
From cutting costs associated to high staffing necessities, to state-of-the-art technology, Weird Hotel has it all. After the robot Velociraptor or the charming humanoid greet the guests as they come to check-in at Henn na Hotel, another robot comes to pick the luggage and carry it to the room.
Access to the room is done due to implemented face recognition mechanisms. Guests will never lose a key again, waiting for hours to regain access to their rooms. Once in the cosy low-cost hotel room, everything is also automated.
Room service is secured by drones flying in jars of snacks. Another robot assistant, comfortably seated on your nightstand will politely converse to you about controlling functions in the room, particularly lights.
Go down to the cloakroom and you will find a robotic arm maneuvering safety boxes for the Henn na Hotel customers.
The Henn na Hotel or Weird Hotel is located in the midst of an amusement park. Far from being an amusement at the expense of customers, the hotel is really the peak of advanced tech use for efficiency maximizing.
The robots ‘employed’ at the Weird Hotel are quite pleasant hosts. You won’t find the robot Velociraptor concierge staring angrily at you for arriving late or murmuring in disapproval of a late check-out.
One added feature: the robot personnel is in good relation with the human personnel that is still in charge of ensuring security. The human touch hasn’t been made entirely obsolete just yet.
For now, Sawada will try the market of low-cost hotels with just Weird Hotel, where a room is approximately 90 dollars per night. But plans of business expansion both in Japan and abroad are already looming.
Photo Credits arstechnica.net