Henn-na Hotel in Japan

UNMANNED RETREAT

Henn-na Hotel in Japan, designed by architect Yoshiyuki Kawazoe, redefines hospitality with talking machines and automated rooms

In a country devoted to technology, it’s normal for robots to live among humans. An example can be seen at the Henn-na Hotel located in the Southern Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. This low cost “smart” getaway is operated mainly by machines and very few human employees. From check-in staff and porters to cloakroom attendants and the concierge – almost all manual jobs have been substituted by uniformed robots. A dinosaur bot politely greets you at the reception and a giant machine arm stores your belongings in a locker room. In fact, the company president Hideo Sawada hopes that by next year, the robots will be able to carry out 90 percent tasks of the hotel.

All humanoids can speak in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese and make eye contact with guests. Each of the 72 keyless rooms open with facial recognition technology and a tablet inside allows you to operate and control the television, curtains, room temperature, lights and call for the electronic room service. Constructed using simple materials like steel, concrete and brick, the property is also eco-friendly – instead of using air conditioning, it employs “radiant panel”, an electromagnetic wave system which draws heat away from your body to make you feel cool. “To reduce construction, human and energy cost, we needed to find the right balance between these factors,” adds Yoshiyuki Kawazoe, architect of the hotel. Aditi Sharma Maheshwari


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