Check into a new hotel with the help of a keen robot receptionist. After welcoming you, another bot will carry your luggage to your room, earlier thoroughly cleaned by a non-human housekeeper. At the Henn-na Hotel in Japan, the so-called actroids will make sure you’ll have a nice and memorable stay.
The 72-room hotel will be staffed by ten real people and ten robots, designed to be extremely human-like. With the characteristics and attitude of young Japanese women, these humanoids will be able to fluently speak Chinese, Korean and English. Mimicking human behaviors, such as breathing and blinking, they can also make hand gestures, eye contact and respond to body language and tone of voice.
With the slogan “A Commitment to Evolution” the hotel aims to be “the most efficient in the world”, as stated by company president Hideo Sawada. “In the future, we’d like to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots” he added.
Alongside the futuristic staff, the hotel – that will open its doors on July 2015 – will feature other high-tech services, such facial recognition instead of key cards, room temperature monitored with body heat detection, and a tablet for each guest to request extra amenities.
The Henn-na project is the first robot-run hotel, but it joins a large group of other cyborg-oriented activities, such as shopping assistants, teachers and farmers.
Should we start seeing them as real people? And if so, do we have to tip the robot bellhop?