A robot is a machine capable of carrying out complex actions by itself. Robots can be controlled by human or any external forces, but most robots are machines designed to perform a task regardless to their look. The term robot can refer to both physical robots and virtual software agents, but latter referred to as bots. The idea of robots in the mythologies of many cultures around the world. Engineers and inventors from old civilizations, including China, Greece, and Egypt, tried to build self-operating machines, some made in the shape of animals and humans.
Robots they are everywhere these days. From processing to engineering and more industries, robots are making huge revolution across the board. And robots in the hospitality industry are a huge trend in East Asia countries. Henn-na Hotel which means (‘strange/changing hotel’ in Japanese) according to Guinness world record it’s the world-first hotel staffed by robots, which opened in July 2015 and they have 80 robots with different types and uses such as female and arm shape robots.
The vision of henn-na hotel is “The Ultimate in Efficiency.” Which referred maximize the efficiency by having a staff made up of robots, and keyless stay. Also the concept of reduce the electricity usage.
Henn-na hotel is applying IT infrastructure is currently using about 80 robots to do specific tasks instead of human employees. The meaning of the hotel’s name (stranger/change) is implying their policy which is focused on experimental and cutting-edge technologies. Also, the media in Japan and abroad have been describing it as “world’s first low-cost hotel “, the hotel is designed to minimize expenses related to construction, utilities, and personnel.
In addition, the figure below shows the map of the entire hotel, which divides the place into five sections.
Each section is connected by flat platforms which gives the ability to the robots to move through it easily.
The special hotel’s hardware consists of seven categories of robots and electronic machines. The first robot is called “Skeletonics” which is placed in the front of the hotel (area A) as a symbol, as the manager mentioned that this robot has no operating tasks, they provide it to attract people to the hotel’s robotic concept. The second robot is the “cloakroom” it is a huge robotic arm usually seen in manufacturing section, sits in a glass quarter in the lobby (area B) which is responsible to lift one of the boxes and put it in a space in the glass to able the guests to use it as a locker to save their items before the check-in or after the check-out. The third type is the receptionists (area C), where a female and two dinosaurs’ type of robots are placed to serve the guests and to operate the check-in/out processes easily. The female robot is humanoid with blinking lashes to make it easy for some guest who would interact with it more comfortably than the dinosaur-type robot. Also, they are multi-language speaking which they can speak four different languages (English, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Korean). These robots that can give the ability to the robots to understand the guest’s language. The fourth type is “porter robot”, it is located in (area D) which is handling the task of carrying guests’ packages after the check-in process has finished. The hotel also installed a fifth type which is an electronic device (vending machine) in (area E) that is selling amenities thought to be free such as shoe shine paper, makeup remover, lotion, toothbrush, slippers etc. the sixth on is the “cleaning robot” located in the common facilities such as corridors and the lobby (area F), the name of the robot tells the task of it, which is cleaning these common areas. The seventh and the last robot is the communication robot called “Tulie”, it is installed as the interface of the room (area G) to use the appliances by responding to the guests via speech recognition such as controlling air-conditioning, TV, lights and other appliances in the room.
All the front-office operations are handled by the front desk, reservation, loyalty, income modules, and housekeeping.
Income modules: the revenues of the front-office show the financial back-End through the night while the taxes and packages are breaking down automatically.
Housekeeping: Manage maintenance state of all rooms and housekeeping through bulk actions and personalized task-list management.
In addition, there is a unique system that the hotel is currently using which is the facial recognition software to unlock the room, the robot recognizes the guests face by eye blinking that produces a noise like a camera shutter. Now guests will receive a key card and will have the option of registering for facial recognition in front of the room door, which allows them to enter their room by only looking into the camera by the door.
As the communicating and networking in the field of hospitality is getting wider the hotel’s owners are become more aware about their guest’s and employee’s comfortability from this aspect of technology. One of the most common technologies is providing free Wi-Fi to the guest so they can easily communicate with their friends, family, or even attend to their classes or meetings at work. Another technology is providing the self-service technology where the hotel installs a telephone which can connect them to the different service offices such as, reception, restaurant, laundry, and many more. That can help guests to reach their desires as quickly as they want without wasting time by going to the real office by themselves. Also, nowadays managers are interested in social listening where they listen to their guests’ experiences through their reviews in social media and other website, to enhance and improve their service quality, efficiency, and facilities according to their guests needs.
Most people were and still afraid from the robots to replace their place and take their jobs, but the main point of creating robots is to help people do things that are too much for them to do alone not replace them altogether. robots will only replace low-level menial and repetitive jobs. Humans can achieve so much more. People are going hungry all over the world, the solution is to just replace them with something that never eats, sleep gets sick or needs time off. Never have to pay for them either. Good business is going to exterminate their own livelihood to put more money in their own pockets and many people seem to be perfectly fine with this.
Robot operating system consists of many devices that are connected to each other the most useful device that helped with creating the robot is the Artificial Intelligence that represents the human intelligence which helped in making the robot understand and help us. The system also includes robot manipulator, control cabinet, teach pendant, and safe environment. And Robot Works is a full service industrial robotic integrator with customers.
Role of information system to achieve 6 business objectives
While Henn na slogan is ” maximum efficiency” , the hotel is able to use the information systems to achieve operational efficiency since the 98-room hotel can be managed by only 7 robots, which is impossible in people-run hotels where you may need about 30 employees , that helped reduce operational cost for the future and human labor cost .
Replace humans with robots that offer many services and speak four languages : English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, and from the services provided by talking to the visitor according to his passport and the facial recognition where he can later enter his room by looking at the camera beside his room and also a smartphone allowed the visitor to make free international calls and control the air conditioner and lights , TV and the door through it . the robots also can sorting and transporting luggage.
Most businesses today rely heavily on IT to enhance their relationships with their customers . the use of IT has led to the strengthening of relationships between suppliers and customers where customers can put all their suggestions and preferences through the robot and this helps the suppliers to satisfy their desire to develop the hotel
Decision-making is one of the most important actions taken by the manager and depends on having the latest information about the hotel in Henn na Hotel besides robots there is a very low human labor force that helps to keep robots active the manager will get information through the employees but the reliance is Bigger on robots that are available in each room because they take into account visitor movements and suggested ideas for visitors, they can record these things for the benefit of the manager.
The competitive advantage of this hotel stems entirely from the use of information systems where the hotel has been able to obtain a competitive advantage in terms of costs, although the robots are expensive but when compared to the annual cost of employees ‘ salaries they are much less expensive.
The hotel used investments in technology to survival like robots and systems that run these robots but since we are in the age of technology the hotel needs to continue to invest in information systems to stay with competitors .
System for management decision making and Business intelligence :
is a type of information systems used in daily or routine operations and here we will show some of them
Guests give their names to the human servant and then move to the robot section. The robot greets them and gets to know their language. After that, guests can pick up their room card through the existing device and have the option of a face recognition device, where they can later reach their rooms via the facial device next to the room and the hotel also provides luggage to the rooms.
Robots carry out many routine work that has helped the human workforce to adopt part-time, where robots are carrying luggage and cleaning and can also collect large guests ‘ belongings and place them in individual lockers for each customer .
DSS Hotel software offers an easy way and standard protocols for all areas of activities in the hotel, which helps to increase the hotel’s organizational growth. DSS Provides a module for managing all types of sources in the hotel and activities such as staff, floors, order management, Restaurant management ,inventory management and guests. DSS Hotel Software Provide advanced graphical dashboard which Enabling the hotel to handle every function easily and quickly, The hotel can find out the state of the room, the details of the guests in a specific room, and check in and out by using dashboard operator .Like in the Restaurant DSS hotel software provides management service with the customer details, link orders with room numbers and provide details for the kitchen. DSS Hotel Software provides “inventory module” that helps the hotel to know all the transactions details such as, paid and receive, also the hotel can track the inventory time by time, in this way the hotel can maintain their inventory very easily.
The henn-na hotel use the of robots and the advanced technology as a main factors to facilitate the process of managing and running the functions of hotel without the need of human staff with less cost and more efficiency, that leads to attract more guests that will lead to gain more profits in return. Japan as an advanced country enhanced the usage of technology in their different industries which made them creative in different fields and increased their competitive advantage over the world. This is what made the hotel invent this idea and be encouraged to implement it. We believe that the Robots will solve many problems around the world and we hope that they will be used in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia especially in the field of tourism and hotels to increase efficiency, attract tourism, reduce cost and give tourists a unique experience to meet the vision of 2030, that will take our country one step to the future.
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