Robotics

New Japanese hotel has robot staff and no room keys

New Japanese hotel has robot s...
Robots are deployed at the front desk to help guests check-in and out
Robots are deployed at the front desk to help guests check-in and out
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Robots are deployed at the front desk to help guests check-in and out
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Robots are deployed at the front desk to help guests check-in and out
According to the Henn-na Hotel, it's possible to hold a conversation with the "warm" and "friendly" robots while they get on with their work
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According to the Henn-na Hotel, it's possible to hold a conversation with the "warm" and "friendly" robots while they get on with their work
Porter robots are employed to carry luggage to and from rooms for guests
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Porter robots are employed to carry luggage to and from rooms for guests
There is a robot employed in the cloak room that puts guests' items away into lockers for safe-keeping
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There is a robot employed in the cloak room that puts guests' items away into lockers for safe-keeping
Guests can makes use of keyless access to rooms by using face-recognition for access
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Guests can makes use of keyless access to rooms by using face-recognition for access
Tablets in the hotel rooms can be used to control lighting and other in-room amenities
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Tablets in the hotel rooms can be used to control lighting and other in-room amenities
Each room features a radiant panel air conditioning system
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Each room features a radiant panel air conditioning system
The radiant panel air conditioning system transfers heat directly from one object to another without affecting the air in between
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The radiant panel air conditioning system transfers heat directly from one object to another without affecting the air in between
A standard room at the the Henn-na Hotel
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A standard room at the the Henn-na Hotel
A deluxe room at the the Henn-na Hotel
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A deluxe room at the the Henn-na Hotel
A superior room at the the Henn-na Hotel
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A superior room at the the Henn-na Hotel
The cafe at the the Henn-na Hotel
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The cafe at the the Henn-na Hotel
The Henn-na Hotel is part of the Huis Ten Bosch theme park complex in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture
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The Henn-na Hotel is part of the Huis Ten Bosch theme park complex in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture

A new hotel that is staffed with robots has opened in Japan. The Henn-na Hotel (which translates as "Strange Hotel"), is part of the Huis Ten Bosch theme park complex in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. Guests can also access their rooms via face-recognition, and are able to control room amenities via tablets.

The Henn-na Hotel was designed by Kawazoe Lab, the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo, and Kajima Corporation. As well as aiming to provide a pleasant and comfortable stay for guests, the hotel was designed to be cost-effective, modern, environmentally-friendly and fun.

Robots are deployed at the front desk to help guests check-in and out. According to the Henn-na Hotel, it's possible to hold a conversation with the "warm" and "friendly" robots while they get on with their work. Alternatively, self-service check-in and check-out eliminates the need to go to the front desk or to wait in line.

There are porter robots employed to carry luggage to and from rooms, and cleaning robots employed to keep the hotel spotless of their own accord. There is also a robot employed in the cloak room. Objects up to the size of small bags can be handed over and the robot will put them away in secure lockers. When the belongings are needed, the robot will locate them in the correct locker and hand them back to the guest.

There is a robot employed in the cloak room that puts guests' items away into lockers for safe-keeping
There is a robot employed in the cloak room that puts guests' items away into lockers for safe-keeping

The hotel has a number of other high-tech features, too. Guests can make use of keyless access to rooms by using face-recognition. This eliminates the need to carry around a room key or card that could potentially be lost. Swipe cards are available, though, for guests who would prefer not to use the face-recognition technology.

Rooms feature motion-sensor-controlled lighting that detects when people are in a room. In this way, room lights are turned on and off automatically. They can also be controlled via tablets provided in the hotel rooms, which can be used to control other amenities as well.

Each room features a radiant panel air conditioning system that uses electromagnetic waves to transfer heat directly from one object to another without affecting the air in between. Its temperature-controlled surface draws heat away from the body when it's warm, and keeps heat from escaping the body when it's cool.

The Henn-na Hotel is part of the Huis Ten Bosch theme park complex in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture
The Henn-na Hotel is part of the Huis Ten Bosch theme park complex in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture

The Henn-na Hotel opened on July 17. There are 72 rooms available during the first phase of construction, with a total of 144 planned eventually. Rooms start from 9,000 yen (US$73).

Source: Henn-na Hotel

6 comments
Bob Flint
So instead of a tip, do you leave memory sticks or static free wipes?
MattII
I don't think they're onto a sure thing with the raptor.
Stephen N Russell
Like to see franchised to US IE Disneyland alone, Knotts Berry Farm, Id be awesome alone. Radical This is one Hotel Id stay at. Export to the US, Canada
OldBill
I watched several reviews of this on the net. A little too outlandish and clunky to do anything but confuse and frustrate guests. The check-in sequence alone tries your patience. Then following an aggravatingly S-L-O-W porter robot with your luggage, all the way to your room, is enough to make you want to grab your stuff and kick the thing down the stairwell. Then three or four tries with the facial recognition might get you in your room - but forget it and just use the card. The rooms are typically smaller than travelers are used to, but well maintained - by actual humans! Lots of automated environmental controls, air, lighting, etc. but most of us will spend more time just trying to adjust or override them, to suit personal preferences. I'm thinking most people might want to try this novelty once, for the heck of it, but even us geeks are likely to opt for something more conventional from then on. Too clunky, too soon.
AnjelicaLove
Japanese do not accept tips anyway, it is a sign of disrespect. This hotel is a short drive from where I live now. I plan on going to see it this weekend, drove by today without realizing it was there because I was too busy looking at Huis Ten Bosch