Of drones and robots


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by Chua Wei Ling

Technological advances such as drones and humanoid robots are nothing new in the market – they can and have been seen used in photography and filming or as talking guides at exhibitions or museums. However, they may soon be replacing humans at certain jobs, too.

Come 17 July, Japan will be unveiling a new hotel in Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Nagasaki Prefecture that will be staffed almost entirely by humanoid robots. Called Henn-na Hotel, which means ‘change’ or ‘strange’ in Japanese, uniformed robots will cover jobs such as receptionists, porters and chambermaids while an industrial robot will also serve as a cloak room attendant. They will also be multilingual and are able to speak fluent Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English. While 90% of the tasks in the hotel will be carried out by the robots, human staff will also be on hand to ensure that every thing runs smoothly.

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In Singapore, a similar case of technology taking over is present as well. Restaurant chain Timbre recently began using drones to maximise the efficiency of their wait staffs as a solution to the labour crunch. The drones will not replace the work of human waiters, but they will help by decreasing the workload and time spent for the waiters travelling back and forth from the kitchen to the tables instead.

(images credit to Huis Ten Bosch and Reuters)