Future hotels: How robots could reshape the hotel industry

With machines slowly taking over human work, the hospitality industry could soon see fully automated operations with the help of robots.


NSFW    JAPAN — All around the world, machines are slowly taking up tasks once reserved for humans. In the hospitality industry, customer service and satisfaction is the endgame, and what better to cater to your needs than an inexhaustible, programmable automaton?

CNN reports that hotels in the future could be entirely staffed by machines, starting with realistic-looking cyborgs welcoming guests at the front desk. Checking in will be done via a self-service kiosk, which includes facial authentication for keyless entry.

A robot-operated cloakroom will be available for guests who need to store or retrieve belongings. And instead of a bellhop, an electric porter will carry luggage while leading guests to their rooms.

Smart room controls will be able to detect motion and adjust lighting and temperature accordingly. They could also be programmed to provide wake-up calls. Smart window displays could be incorporated to provide guests with information relevant to their trip.

Items may be bought or requested and will be delivered directly to the rooms, with a phone call notifying guests that their items have arrived.

Likewise, robots will be in charge of housekeeping — tidying up rooms quickly and efficiently.

Even meals could soon be prepared by programmable robotic arms, and then served by robotic waiters.

A robot concierge will also be on hand 24/7 to answer guests’ questions and help with booking and arrangements.

Fully automated hotels may not be too far off. Japan already has the Henn na Hotel in Nagasaki, with more on the way. Hotels in the U.S., Singapore and Belgium have also been using robots in their businesses, though only for menial tasks, reports the economist.

Of course, not everyone is on board with the idea, as some argue that the loss of human interaction may have an impact on overall customer satisfaction.
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