Kicker: Jurassic robots


NICK EICHER, HOST: Technology is starting to replace flesh and blood workers in several industries. But the tables are turning at a group of hotels in Japan.

A group of robots designed to look like small dinosaurs is among those soon to be out of work. The Henn-na hotel chain has used a fleet of them to perform tasks like cleaning, serving as in-room assistants, even greeting guests at the front desk.

AUDIO: Welcome to the Henn-na hotel. If you would like to check in, please press one.

Well, they haven’t quite mastered the art of customer service. They’re unable to answer many customer questions, and prone to annoying habits. For example, one in-room assistant interpreted snoring as a command it didn’t understand, and it woke up a guest with a request to repeat it.

But here’s the real problem: these dinosaur robots are pretty expensive to service.  

Apparently, Jurassic parts are hard to find.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


(Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, AP)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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