On the Kyushu Island of southwestern Japan you’ll find a hotel run almost entirely by robots. At the Henn-Na Hotel, located in Japan’s Dutch-themed Huis Ten Bosch Theme Park, all receptionists, bellhops, and concierges greet guests with the sweet, soothing mechanical voice of artificial intelligence.
Called “the most efficient hotel in the world,” the Henn-Na Hotel (“Henn-Na” translates to “strange” in English) is a prime example of AI replacing traditionally human-occupied jobs. Over 90% of the staff consists of autonomous robots, a total of 186 machines.
Upon entering, three front desk clerks will be waiting for you: an eerily realistic female robot and two eager velociraptors dressed as bellhops. After checking in, a mechanical arm will place your luggage in a drawer and a one-foot robotized concierge will explain breakfast times and other hotel information. The red porter robot will then escort you to your room.
To unlock the door, no key is needed—simply place your face in front of a sensor and facial-recognition technology will open the door (or at least in theory). Upon entering the room, you will meet Churi-chan, a pink and green miniature robot which offers wakeup calls, will tell you the weather, and can even control the lights. Strange indeed.