Can You Staff a Hotel with Robots?

Can you staff a hotel entirely with robots? The simple answer is “Yes.” In 2015, the Henn na Hotel in Nagasaki was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the first all-robot-staffed hotel in the world.

“Please feel free to enjoy conversing with these warm and friendly robots as they efficiently go about their work,” the website enjoined guests.

With 243 robots, the Henn na Hotel (it means “strange hotel”) was a bold experiment. Its owners believed that it would be more economical to employ robots rather than human beings. Four years after they opened, though, the hotel laid off half of its robot workers and brought in human workers to replace them.

Can you staff a hotel with robots…successfully?

That was the problem. The robot bellhops couldn’t go upstairs or outside. The information-providing robots couldn’t understand human questions. The robot dancers in the lobby — yeah, that was a thing — broke down and quit dancing.

Human workers had to spend extra hours responding to guests’ complaints about the robots. Maintaining and rescuing robots was also time-consuming. The robots, as so many experts have predicted, created more work for the humans.

The current website of the branch of Henn na lists some current robot workers:

  • ・Humanoid receptionist
  • ・Air-cleaning robot
  • ・Floor-cleaning robot
  • ・Window-wiping robot

But now the jobs that can be done better by people are being done by people.

Walmart also laid off much of its robot staff recently. As automation increases, it is becoming more clear that some jobs can be done better by human beings.

For example, if you need support or service for your Rexroth motion control systems, you should call us immediately. No robots can give you a better experience than we can.As Rexroth specialists, we are able to get your facility back up and running fast.

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