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Get ready for an all new automated service this July because the country that has been having a love affair with robots this past decade is going for the ultimate climax (pun fully intended). Nagasaki will be home to a hotel with half of it’s staffers as robots. Soon though, the robot staff will rise to 90%.
The Hen-na Hotel (meaning change or strange) will have 10 humans and 10 robots as staffers. It will comprise of 72 rooms. The bots will have the lifelike expressions and faces of Japanese girls and will exude a certain creepiness no doubt. The robots were developed by Osaka University and built by Kokoro (the same company that licenses Hello Kitty).
In an attempt to make the bots as lifelike as possible they have been programmed with Korean, Chinese and English as well as Japanese and have been trained to respond and mimic hand gestures, eye contact and tone of voice. The bots will check you in, carry your luggage, make coffee and do laundry and of course fully automated services will amend that experience.
There will be facial recognition to check you in, tablet computers to request service and LED lights and solar panels to save energy. It’s all part of making the hotels cheap to check in to. Estimates are that it will take $60 (7000 Yen) to get you in and you’ll have to bid for a room.
It’s all part of a grand plan of the Robot themed park called Huis Ten Bosch, modeled on a 17th century Dutch town. If the hotel is a success, another one will follow in 2016 and a 1000 more around the world if all goes as planned. President Hideo Sadawa says that he plans to make the most efficient hotel in the world. Let’s hope the room service is good.