In Walt Disney World's Carousel of Progress, a scene is presented where a robot bell boy is helping a lady out of her futuristic car. While the robots at Nagasaki's high tech Henn-na hotel will not be driving around on one wheel, the hotel will be primarily staffed by robots.
In a world where nearly every movie and novel to feature robotic AI ends with mankind being nearly wiped out, the idea of staying at a hotel with robotic attendants would give most people pause. The world in which the new Henn-na hotel will open is in the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Nagasaki, Japan. The park is modeled after a Dutch town, complete with actual-sized copies of old Dutch buildings to bring the experience of The Netherlands to Japan. The high tech robotic staff will create an interesting juxtaposition against such a historic backdrop.
The official press release for the hotel touts the usage of robots, or "actroids," as the Washington Post calls them, saying they will handle some of the most visible services at the hotel, including greeting guests, carrying luggage, cleaning rooms, and checking you in and out of your rooms. The hotel will open with 10 robotic staff members but Hideo Sawada, president of theme park Huis Ten Bosch, stated the following.
"In the future, we'd like to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots."
Three of the initial robotic staff will be the receptionists, three "actroids" that will be able to interact with people by having conversations in English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. The receptionists will feature the ability to not only hold a conversation but be able to interpret voice inflection and body language. No demonstration was available on the robot actroids ability to move or carry luggage, but we have already seen how far the field of robotics have come in other Inquisitr stories such as the Kung Fu robot.
In addition to the androids running the hotel, other high tech features will be present in the hotel, such as a reliance on facial recognition instead of key cards. Room temperature will also be automatically adjusted based on radiation panels in the rooms that will monitor body heat and make the necessary changes to keep guests comfortable. In addition, amenities will be ordered through a hotel-provided tablet rather than calling reception.
Human staff will supplement the robotic staff in the event they decide to start plans for world domination. "We will make the most efficient hotel in the world," Sawada said. "In the future, we're hoping to build 1,000 similar hotels around the world."
The Henn-na hotel will open in July with 72 rooms and be $60 USD for a single room. A second phase with an additional 72 rooms will open the following year.
[Image Source: Huis Ten Bosch]