Japan: Cutting-edge hotel replaces robot workers with humans
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Japan: Cutting-edge hotel replaces robot workers with humans

A HIGH-TECH hotel in Japan which boasts being largely staffed by robots is doing away with many of its automatons, replacing humans to perform their tasks instead.

The Henn-na Hotel chain recently confirmed that the androids would be phased out because they broke down easily, were costly to maintain, and annoyed guests.

The hotel said human staff would soon replace robots that act as front-desk staff, cleaners, porters and in-room assistants.

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However, the company said it would pursue its plans to develop a new generation of robot workers for newer properties across Japan the South China Morning Post reported.

Tatsuya Fukuda, who oversees development of the chain for domestic travel giant HIS said: “We are trying to evolve and improve every day, but we have been working with state-of-the-art equipment.”

Tatsuya said the hotel was reintroducing human staff to ensure that service standards were maintained.

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Tatsuya said the hotel was reintroducing human staff to ensure that service standards were maintained. Source: Shutterstock

While the concept of the hotel caught headlines early on in its operations, the company found that the dinosaur and humanoid robots placed the front desks of its properties were unable to respond to queries from guests on local attractions or access to airports.

Other tasks such as registering a guest’s passport required humans to be on standby.

The robot luggage carriers were also unable to reach all of the rooms in some hotels or broke down when they got wet, according to the SCMP.

A in-room assistant named “churi” also struggled to understand accents.

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A guest told once complained of being kept awake at night because Churi believed his snoring was a command and kept asking him to repeat his request, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The company, which opened its first hotel in the southern city of Sasebo in 2015, said it would perservere with the concept.

“When you actually use robots, you realise that there are places where they are not needed – or just annoy people,” HIS President Hideo Sawada said.

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