Japanese hotels are expanding their “contactless” services through the use of robots for guest services, and in many hotels you will begin to see Sharp’s “RoBoHoN” robot help guests to check-in and get settled at their hotel.
One such hotel of bnb + Toranomon located in Tokyo’s Minato district which began testing RoBoHoN in July. RoBoHoN utilizes a “remote customer service solution” with a newly developed Robophone by Sharp.
When the camera installed in the Robophone detects a customer standing in front of, it utters a pre-set greeting and alerts office staff, who may be in a different part of the hotel, or at an offsite location that they can communicate with the customer using a smartphone or tablet terminal.
Customers can check-in and checkout and consult with the hotel’s staff through the Robophone and the staff can confirm the customers name, payment information and other needs through the Robophone or tablet.
As the tourism impact tries to find new solutions to travel in the coronavirus era, hotels and other entities find it increasingly necessary to secure the customer service distance and shorten the customer service time, by adapting to a new customer service style that increasingly focuses on contactless services.
Robots in hotels are nothing new in Japan with robots performing front desk, food and beverage customer service and housekeeping services. Companies already in hotel robotics believe that with Japan’s aging population and the new “Covid-19 normal” that the implementation of robotic systems will continue unabated for years to come.