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Five things about Japan's robot hotel

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Media captionInside Japan's robot hotel

Japan's Henn na or "Weird" hotel opens its doors to the public on Friday. What is so weird about it? Apart from the dinosaur greeting you as you arrive, everything is handled by robots from check-in to check-out.

Here are some of its highlights - and a sense of what the Japanese public makes of its attractions.

A dinosaur at reception

The hotel in Sasebo, Nagasaki, features different types of automated receptionists, including an English-speaking dinosaur and a Japanese-speaking female android.

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Facial recognition technology is used at check-in and guests have to type their information into a touch panel.

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A robot porter

Guests can load their suitcases onto a porter robot and tap their room number into its digital panel for delivery.

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Sensor panels that detect body heat

There are no light switches in the rooms, and to turn on or off the lights, guests have to speak to the hotel's tulip-shaped concierge robot Tuly.

It also tells the time and can give guests the weather forecast.

Sensor panels in the room adjust the temperature by detecting body heat.

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A giant left luggage robot

A giant robot arm usually seen in manufacturing helps guests store items at the hotel's cloak room.

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Guests put their luggage through a window. The suitcase lands in a box, which the robot arm then grabs and places in a stack in the room.

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But it is hardly a talking point in Japan

The cost of a night's stay at the hotel, which is part of the Huis ten Bosch amusement park, starts at 9,000 yen (£46, $73), which is considered a bargain in Japan.

The park's founder Hideo Sadawa told reporters that having robot staff at the hotel is no gimmick. He said he wanted to show how establishments could improve efficiency and lower labour costs.

"I wanted to highlight innovation,'' he said. "I also wanted to do something about hotel prices going up."

Image copyright AP

News of the hotel has attracted intense interest from foreign media. But it has so far encountered a cooler reception in Japan - no stranger to quirky technological fads - with little reaction from the public online although the media have covered it in force.

A human member of hotel staff confirmed to the BBC that it opened its doors today as scheduled and check-in starts at 1500 Japan time (0600GMT) but nobody has arrived yet.

Well-known Japanese entrepreneur Takafumi Horie wryly noted on Twitter on hearing about the hotel being staffed entirely by robots: "Well, hotels are better without people, aren't they?"

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