In a science fiction future, we’ll arrive at the hotel in our driverless taxi, check in at the reception desk staffed by androids then follow the robot porter as it carries our bags to our room.
Except, of course, this is already science fact.
Robots are already working in some hotels – the Henn-na Hotel in Sasebo, Japan is staffed entirely by machines including one, bizarrely, resembling a dinosaur.
But that’s just how things roll in high-tech Japan, right?
Nope, robots are now making an appearance in hotels around the planet – and more are on their way.
In a Marriott hotel in Ghent, Belgium, a diminutive humanoid robot named Mario has been working since June 2015.
He welcomes guests in 19 languages and guards the buffet.
A similar device, this one powered by IBM’s human-mimicking Watson computer, has just taken up a concierge position at a Hilton McLean hotel in Virginia.
Last year, Royal Caribbean installed cocktail-mixing robot bartenders on several of its cruise ships.
Rise of the machines
Gimmicks, yes, but their developers promise they’re getting more sophisticated by the month. Mario will soon learn how to order taxis.