Hen na Hoteru (変なホテル) or literally, weird hotel in English, owned by Huis Ten Bosch is a first of its kind robot hotel in Nagasaki prefecture. It’s completely run by robots! Three robots man the check-in desk. Here guests have the option to use facial recognition to check-in and enter their room or can opt for a check-in card.
After checking-in, guests have the option to store any extra luggage in a secure robot operated vault.
And there’s no need to carry any luggage to your room, thanks to the purpose built luggage transporter robots. The transporter robots are one of two robots manufactured by electronics firm Sharp, especially for Hen na Hotel. What makes the transporter robot intelligent is that it’s equipped with a touch panel display and is able to guide guests and itself automatically to the room.
We all know that Japan is big on mascots, so it would only make sense for Huis Ten Bosch to have one as well right? Right! Meet Tyuli Chan (チューリーちゃん), she’s the public face of Huis Ten Bosch chain of hotels.
So once guests have arrived in their room, they will find a robot version of Tyuli Chan (チューリーロボ) waiting for them. This is Sharp’s second purpose built intelligent robot for Hen na Hotel.
Patiently sitting on the bedside table, Tyuli Robo awaits verbal instructions from guests. Staying quiet won’t stop Tyuli from waking up; she’ll know to be at your service when the sensory room lights are automatically turned on. Personally I feel that her functionality is quiet limited at the moment. She’s capable of simple tasks such as waking guests up when they ask her to, switching the lights on and off as well as acquiring weather information when asked.
Due to labour shortages in Japan, there is a greater demand for automation. Tech giants like Sharp will continue to produce and place intelligent robots in the home, work and places of leisure. Those of you who have visited the ‘Land of the Rising Robots’ will have noticed commercial robots like Peppa in shops and banks in Tokyo.
For a brief background on Japan’s history with robots check out my previous article here, where I attempt to explore why the Japanese seem to be more accepting of robots than us living in the West.