Japan’s all robot hotel Henn-na decommissions 50% of robots due to inefficiency

17th January 2019 (Last Updated February 1st, 2021 05:21)

Japan’s Henn-na Hotel has axed 50% of its 243 robots after they created more problems for guests.

Japan’s Henn-na Hotel has axed 50% of its 243 robots after they created more problems for guests.

As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, one of the layoffs included a doll-shaped assistant in each hotel room called Churi.

Compared to Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, Churi could not answer hotel guests queries such as when the theme park would open. Churi was intended to act as substitute for human staff. It also mistook snoring sounds and woke up guests.

Among other robots being decommissioned include two velociraptor robots positioned at check-in, two robot luggage carriers, and main concierge robot.

The two velociraptor robots had to be decommissioned as human staff had to perform their tasks such as photocopying passports of guests.

The robot luggage carriers could travel only to 24 out of the more than 100 rooms in the hotel. Further, it failed to function in rain or snow and would stick as they pass by each other.

The main concierge robot could not answer queries on flight schedules and nearby tourist attractions. These services are being carried out by human staff.

Several of the robots that have been decommissioned have reportedly become outdated.

Due to high costs, the hotel decommissioned them instead of replacing them.

The hotel opened in 2015 in Sasebo’s Huis Ten Bosch theme park near Nagasaki. It entered into the Guinness World Records as being the only complete AI hotel in the world. It currently has a mix of human and robot employees.

It is owned by Huis Ten Bosch president Hideo Sawada.