Robots and AI welcome guests at a hotel in Tokyo

Robots and smart devices are the face of some new hotels in Japan, where owners are using hi-tech ways to offer a friendly welcome to guests who don't speak the language.

A major travel agency opened a so-called smart hotel in April in Hamamatsucho, central Tokyo, where humanoid robots greet guests at the front desk in English, Chinese, Korean, or Japanese. Robots also perform cleaning duties.

Hotel officials say technology is helping to ease the strain of Japan's labour shortage.

At another hotel in Akihabara, central Tokyo, guests can control lighting, air conditioning and curtains with a smartphone or smart speaker.