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Robot Hotel: Few Jobs for Humans

Posted on January 29, 2015

A theme park near Nagasaki in southern Japan will open a smart hotel featuring female androids that greet guests, and robots that carry luggage and serve coffee.

Henn-na Hotel at the Dutch-inspired Huis Ten Bosch theme park will be partly powered by solar panels and guests will have the option of using facial-recognition software instead of door keys.

Henn-na Hotel, meaning “Strange Hotel” in English, will feature three uniformed reception androids, four service and porter robots, an industrial robot arm serving as a cloak room attendant and several cleaning robots. . . .

Huis Ten Bosch did not release further details on the robots, but a spokeswoman said about 10 human staff will help with hotel operations.

The facility will open a first phase in July with 72 rooms, and another phase with same capacity next year. Rooms will start from ¥7,000 (US$59), and will be open to an online auction system in which guests can bid for the rate they want.

The minimum price is far below the rates at the three other hotels at the theme park (which start around ¥20,000 to ¥30,000) because the use of robots, power-saving equipment such as LED lights and renewable energy is expected to significantly reduce operating costs.

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