There’s a hotel in Japan staffed by robots.
But not just any kind of robots. As you walk up to the front desk, you might feel a bit confused when you see the two gesticulating robot dinosaurs greeting you in a handful of languages.
Don’t worry; they’re wearing bellboy hats, so you’ll know they’re employees and not just random robot dinosaurs off the street.
VIDEO: The reception at the Henn na Hotel east of Tokyo is eerily quiet until customers approach the robot dinosaurs manning the front desk. The Henn na (whose name means 'weird') chain bills itself as offering the world's first hotels staffed by robots pic.twitter.com/nyFdDjyGzB
— AFP news agency (@AFP) August 31, 2018
The hotel in question is called Henn na Hotel, which basically means “Weird Hotel” (“hen” or “へん” being an adjective for “strange” or something other).
Yukio Nagai, manager of the Henn na Hotel Maihama Tokyo Bay, recently did an interview with AFP, during which he acknowledged that some people aren’t exactly comfortable with the robot dinos.
“We haven’t quite figured out when exactly the guests want to be served by people, and when it’s okay to be served by robots,” he said.
The dinosaur robots appear only at the front desk, where they guide visitors through check-in with the help of a tablet. They’re joined, however, by a number of other robots throughout the hotel, including a recycle bin with eyes and an egg-shaped robot in each room.
Robot fish swim in cylindrical aquariums in the lobby, while Roombas (or some other equivalent) vacuum the hallways. The 24hr HOT MENU allows you to pick up a warm snack from a vending machine.
Henn na Hotels have been around for a while. According to AFP, the first one opened in 2015, becoming the “world’s first hotel with robots on its staff.” There are now eight throughout Japan.
Last year, Youtube’s japanesestuffchannel uploaded a short video of his adventure into the Henn-na Hotel at Tokyo Bay, including a look inside one of its rooms. It’s a trip. The hotel is also close enough that he could see fireworks from nearby Tokyo Disneyland.
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