The world’s first robotic hotel in Nagasaki fired more than half of its service robots because they add to the burden of human work.
Henn na Hotel decided to quit more than half of the 243 working robots after receiving complaints from staff and customers, Futurism reported yesterday. With its first facility opening in Nagasaki in 2015, the Henn na hotel was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world’s first robotic hotel.
“Now we no longer have to regularly receive calls from tenants to fix problems with robots. Things will be easier,” said an employee who has worked at the hotel for three years.
The company operates eight hotels across the country, all using robots, some with dinosaurs, some humanoid robots. The hotel went into operation with about 80 robots and soon added, including humanoid robot dancers and dog robots in the lobby.
Dinosaur robot at the front desk. Photo: Verge.
However, tenants said the robots were often damaged. A sharer was repeatedly awoken by a robot in the room due to his snoring activating the robot. The assistant robot in each room named Churi was the first one to be shut down after a tenant discovered it could not answer basic questions.
According to Atsushi Nishiguchi, who used to stay at the hotel in 2017, after having a nasty conversation with Churi, he decided to call the hotel reception, but realized there was no phone in the room because the assistant robot is handled to handle customer requests. Hideo Sawada, director of a travel agency that owns the hotel chain, admits the robot has many bad reputations.
The reception at the Maihama Hotel in the Henn na chain in eastern Tokyo is exceptionally quiet unless customers walk up to a pair of dinosaur robots at the service table. Their sensors detect movement and they roar “Hello”. According to first-time tenants, the experience is rather odd as the massive dinosaur robot dances its arms and legs and emits a programmed phrase.
Yukio Nagai, manager at Maihama Hotel, said that some customers even feel a bit stressful when they come into contact with the dinosaur robot. “We have yet to determine when the customer wants to be served by humans and when the robot will be fine,” said Yukio. Some hotel staff are also called by guests who rent rooms to repair the damage caused by a short circuit of the robot.