Some of you may remember reading about the Henn na hotel in Japan back in 2015. It relied on a lot of robots to handle the jobs that you’d normally find humans doing in a hotel. In what seems like a solid case of irony, the hotel has had to effectively lay off half of its 243 robots, and will most likely be hiring humans to perform the functions.
The hotel did get a lot of publicity when it opened in 2015 for having hundreds of robots that looked bizarre and attempted to perform functions that humans would normally do. The robots were good as a gimmick but struggled to perform the tasks they were meant to.
The Wall Street Journal reports that some creative ideas like a robot velociraptor at the check-in desk didn’t quite work. It couldn’t handle foreign guests and human employees had to step in just to photocopy their passports.
Then there was Churi, the personal robot assistant in every room, which could only do basic tasks and nearly not as much as you can probably do using the smart assistant on your smartphone. So the robots either proved to be cumbersome to actually save any time or just broke down too often to go through the trouble of maintaining them. The Henn-na Hotel isn’t swearing off technology altogether but it will adopt solutions that are a bit more conventional, such as facial recognition door locks.
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