Kids and adults from around the world will want to visit Sasebo, Japan after a new hotel operated by robots opened on July 17. On the heels of Jurassic World’s release, English speakers now have the chance to check into a hotel while communicating with a robot receptionist that looks like the runt of a Velociraptor litter. Otherwise, if you’re checking in and speak Japanese, you need to take a step to your left where you’ll be greeted by a female humanoid that looks like Jackie Kennedy dressed it. Neither robot actually checks a person into the hotel, but both communicate with the guest as they use a touch-screen to enter the requisite information.

Check in desk at the robot hotel in Japan

Once checked in at the Henn-na Hotel, which translates into English as the “Weird Hotel,” part of guests’ luggage is stored in lockers by a robotic arm, which is similar to the type of machine that assembles cars. Then, heading to their room, guests will remember that they didn’t receive a key at the front desk. There’s no need though, as access throughout the hotel is controlled via facial recognition software. Once inside their home away from home, people become familiar with Tuly, a robot assistant in each room that controls the essentials, including the temperature, by analyzing body heat, and lighting. Tuly can also contact guest services, tell the time, and monitor the weather.

While the robots do a lot of the heavy lifting, there are still humans on-site to monitor the situation and clean the rooms. The owner, Hideo Sawada, announced that there is a ‘maid-bot’ that he hopes will eventually take over cleaning the rooms, but it is not yet reliable enough to deploy. What is one night at the Weird Hotel going to cost you? About 1/3 the average cost of a hotel room in Japan: only 9000 yen, or about $80.


Steve Pame

Steve Pame

A part-time graduate student and high school teacher, Steve enjoys just about anything that makes him forget all the student loans he'll never be able to pay back. He enjoys visiting his extended family, spread throughout the world, whenever he has a chance.