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Female androids that greet guests

androidFor centuries, hospitality in Japan has meant kimono-clad innkeepers attentive to the last detail. Now androids from the company that licenses Hello Kitty will staff a new hotel.

A theme park near Nagasaki in southern Japan will open a smart hotel featuring female androids that greet guests, and robots that carry luggage and serve coffee.

Henn-na Hotel at the Dutch-inspired Huis Ten Bosch theme park will be partly powered by solar panels and guests will have the option of using facial-recognition software instead of door keys.

Henn-na Hotel, meaning “Strange Hotel” in English, will feature three uniformed reception androids, four service and porter robots, an industrial robot arm serving as a cloak room attendant and several cleaning robots.

Huis Ten Bosch did not release further details on the robots, but a spokeswoman said about 10 human staff will help with hotel operations.

The facility will open a first phase in July with 72 rooms, and another phase with same capacity next year. Rooms will start from ¥7,000 (US$59), and will be open to an online auction system in which guests can bid for the rate they want.

“We’d like to draw visitors to this setting surrounded by nature by establishing a smart hotel, which could be something we could spread through Japan and the world,” the spokeswoman for Huis Ten Bosch said.

Can you imagine these Androids in taxis?