Robot-staffed hotels are popping up in Japan where you're checked in by friendly dinosaurs. The lobby piano player has no soul, literally.

Henn-na is a play on the Japanese word for strange.

The Henn-na Hotel in Urayasu, near the Tokyo Disney resort, lives up to its name. The world’s first robot-staffed, also a Henn-na hotel, opened in 2015 with 100 non-human attendants. Efficiency is the name of the game here, not novelty, but the two might be inextricable. Visitors can check in promptly at 3pm, greeted by a female-faced robot who snaps to life and welcomes them in. Luxury guests have access to robo-porters and rechargeable trollies to move their luggage to their room.

Did You Know?

  1. The hotel’s owner, Hideo Sawada, wants his staff to consist largely – 90%– of robots.
  2. His belief is that robots are more efficient than humans and better able to help customers.
  3. The robots speak English, even the raptor behind the check-in desk.
  4. Henn-na is part of the Huis Ten Bosch theme park, designed to resemble the Netherlands.
  5. The robots are just part of Sawada’s goals of efficiency, including the use of solar energy.
  6. Guests will also find robots on their bedside tables, ready to assist at a moment’s notice.
  7. The temperature in each guest room is controlled by an energy-efficient radiant panel system, based on the inhabitant’s temperature.
  8. Eventually, robots at the hotel will greet guests in other languages, including Korean and Chinese dialects.
  9. There’s also a robotic arm to help store small items of luggage.
  10. Guests still need to manually add their information—on a tablet computer, not to the robot behind the desk.