viernes, 4 de diciembre de 2015

Robots replace staff in Japanese hotel

Robots at a Japanese amusement park hotel carry out a number of functions humans have been performing so far.

Self-study activity:
Watch the video and answer the questions below. The activity is suitable for Intermediate 2 students.

1 What functions do the robots fulfill at the Henn-na Hotel?
2 What kind of business does Hideo Sawada manage?
3 What two characteristics do robots have that make them unbeatable?
4 How do guests access their rooms at the Henn-na Hotel?
5 How much does a room cost at the Henn-na Hotel?

Welcome... Welcome to the Henn-na Hotel. If you want to check in, please…
Welcome to the Robot Hotel, where robots are at your service. (1) They check guests in, carry bags and operate locker rooms. It's known locally as the Henn-na Hotel, which translates from Japanese to the weird hotel. It's brain child of Hideo Sawada - the CEO of the (2) low-cost travel agent H.I.S.
He said, of course these robots can't just replace all human labour, but (3) in terms of being friendly and polite, they are unbeatable. That's why he asked developers to make robots for this hotel.
Other technological innovations in the hotel include (4) facial recognition allowing guests to access their rooms without a hotel key. Electricity will be partly powered by solar energy aimed at reducing costs.
Sawada said the concept is aimed at travelers on a budget, explaining that he thinks low-cost hotels will become a trend just as low-cost airlines did.
(5) Room rates begin at 7000 yen, around £35 per night, but will be auctioned to the highest bidder during peak season.
The company also runs the Huis Ten Bosch theme park, where the hotel is located. The weird hotel will open to the public on tomorrow.