Robot hotel opens in Japan

CIO | Jul 16, 2015

At the robot hotel near Nagasaki, a mechatronic velociraptor and female android help check you in while a robotic porter takes your bags.

Would you check into a hotel staffed by robots?

The owners of this new hotel in southern Japan hope so. The Henn-na Hotel means “strange hotel” and it’s certainly bizarre.

There’s a mechatronic velociraptor and a female android to check you in. They even bow and speak in awkward English.

A large industrial robot arm supplied by Yaskawa Electric can store your luggage in an automated cloakroom.

The hotel is part of Huis Ten Bosch, a Dutch-themed amusement park north of Nagasaki, and has a lot of gimmicky machines -- but that’s part of the attraction, according to the owners.

Aldebaran Robotics’ Nao humanoid is on hand to act as a desk clerk and concierge.

And if you don’t want to deal with human waiters, you can get hot dogs or rice balls from this vending machine

Meanwhile, porter robots developed by Sharp are ready to carry your bags to your room, where a facial-recognition camera system eliminates the need for a key.

By having mostly robot staff, the hotel can keep labor costs down and charge less than other hotels at the theme park.

Rooms start at around 9,000 yen, or $73, and demand is already brisk.

The Henn_na Hotel plans to add another wing with 72 more rooms next year, and may even expand overseas. After all, everyone loves dinosaurs.