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Japan opens 2nd robot-manned hotel

  • Khristian Ibarrola

    Inquirer.net/Asia News Network

| Thu, March 16, 2017 | 06:11 pm
Japan opens 2nd robot-manned hotel One of the room types provided at Henn-na Hotel. (Henn-na Hotel/File)

Seems like the so-called “rise of the machines” is on a roll in Japan, as one travel agency unveiled its second robot-staffed hotel.

On Wednesday, H.I.S Co. opened Henn-na Hotel near the Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture—which is manned by robotic crew.

The hotel’s name, as per The Japan Times, is a play on the Japanese word meaning “strange.”

“The aim of Henn-na Hotel is not about being strange, it’s about transforming and evolving,” H.I.S founder and chairman Hideo Sawada explained during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Having robots in charge of the reception and placing robots everywhere, we aim to make it the most efficient hotel in the world,” he added.

(Read also: Incheon airport to hire robots for cleaning, concierge)

Aside from robots designed to mimic the functions of human workers, including helping guests carry their luggages, the front desk will also feature a robot receptionist that speaks Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.

Even small tasks such as window-cleaning and vacuuming will be handled by artificial intelligence, the report said.

Furthermore, the state-of-the-art facility will also have a keyless-feature, relying on facial recognition instead. It will also minimize electricity usage through motion sensors that automatically turn appliances on and off.

Interested vacationers, however, must book early, as about 80 percent of available reservations are already reserved until March.

The robot-staffed hotel is the first in the Kanto region and second overall in Japan. The company is also looking to launch 100 more branches overseas in the next five years.

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