Do Robots Make Good Hotel Staff?

In 2015, a hotel staffed by robots opened in Japan; half were later "fired" for creating more work for human staff.
In 2015, a hotel staffed by robots opened in Japan; half were later "fired" for creating more work for human staff.

Would you take a room key from an animatronic velociraptor, or allow a moving claw to lug your luggage around? It might be too late to find out. After "employing" hundreds of robotic staff members in 2015, a hotel in Japan's Nagasaki Prefecture ended up "firing" more than half of them four years later, due to guest complaints and other troubles.

Besides the aforementioned mechanical workers, the Henn-na Hotel – which basically means "Weird Hotel" – also used an automated gardener and offered an electronic "butler" at your bedside that could tell you about the weather or arrange a wakeup call. Part of the problem was communication. For example, at least one sleeper snored so loudly that the nearby robot woke him up, thinking he was ordering it to do something. To make things worse, the front-desk robot couldn't answer basic questions, and humans had to be called in to repair the bots on a regular basis. The hotel ended up replacing about half of its 243 robots with human staff, but kept those it said were placed where they could be efficient and helpful.

Get a room:

  • First World Hotel, located near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, holds the Guinness World Record for most hotel rooms, with 7,351 rooms.

  • The 44,465-square-foot (4,131-sq-m) Royal Suite at the Grand Hills Hotel and Spa in Broummana, Lebanon, is the largest hotel suite on Earth.

  • The Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez in Cannes, France, employs five hawks to keep seagulls and their droppings away from guests.

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    • In 2015, a hotel staffed by robots opened in Japan; half were later "fired" for creating more work for human staff.
      By: Kanesue
      In 2015, a hotel staffed by robots opened in Japan; half were later "fired" for creating more work for human staff.