NO LONGER LOST IN TRANSLATION
New hotel in Japan staffed by robots
A hotel is scheduled to open in Japan in March 2016 where most tasks will be completed by robots.
You’ll be checked in by some friendly droids (one of which appears to be wearing a velociraptor mask and a bowtie in the photos). A robotic arm will take your coats and bags and place them in a locker. A robot will help you transport your bags to your room. And a facial recognition system will unlock your door for you.
Needless to say, light sensors will switch everything off when you leave the room and the radiators will react to the room temperature.
This is part of a drive which shows how technology is making people’s life easier. People – particularly travellers – want consistency if they’re in a strange place. Interaction with others is all well and good but if you’re suffering from jet lag and on a busy business trip, then all you want to do is check in quickly, efficiently and then go to bed.
But it’s the FAQs which reveal some very human concerns: 'Does the hotel have any human staff? If I become ill during my stay, will a robot attend to me?' And the answer shows that even those behind the concept admit that robots can’t do everything… 'We have human hotel staff on duty 24-7. In an emergency, our hotel staff will attend to you.'
However efficient, people are still keen for the human touch. It isn’t called the hospitality industry for nothing.
And the ultimate irony? The hotel doesn't elevators; you’ll have to use the stairs.