Henn-na is a play on the Japanese word for strange.
The Henn-na Hotel in Urayasu, near the Tokyo Disney resort, lives up to its name. The world’s first robot-staffed, also a Henn-na hotel, opened in 2015 with 100 non-human attendants. Efficiency is the name of the game here, not novelty, but the two might be inextricable. Visitors can check in promptly at 3pm, greeted by a female-faced robot who snaps to life and welcomes them in. Luxury guests have access to robo-porters and rechargeable trollies to move their luggage to their room.
Did You Know?
- The hotel’s owner, Hideo Sawada, wants his staff to consist largely – 90%– of robots.
- His belief is that robots are more efficient than humans and better able to help customers.
- The robots speak English, even the raptor behind the check-in desk.
- Henn-na is part of the Huis Ten Bosch theme park, designed to resemble the Netherlands.
- The robots are just part of Sawada’s goals of efficiency, including the use of solar energy.
- Guests will also find robots on their bedside tables, ready to assist at a moment’s notice.
- The temperature in each guest room is controlled by an energy-efficient radiant panel system, based on the inhabitant’s temperature.
- Eventually, robots at the hotel will greet guests in other languages, including Korean and Chinese dialects.
- There’s also a robotic arm to help store small items of luggage.
- Guests still need to manually add their information—on a tablet computer, not to the robot behind the desk.