Luxury hotel in China uses a life-like robot to welcome guests

Luxury hotel in China uses a life-like robot called Madame Wei to welcome guests (and many people don’t even notice it’s not a human)

  • Madame Wei can perform basic duties, such as greeting people and giving directions
  • She started to ‘work’ in the lobby of an upscale hotel last year and has been popular
  • The robot appears to be similar to Jia Jia, China’s most advanced life-like robot yet

Fancy talking to a realistic robot on your next trip? Head to the city of Hefei in China.

A luxury hotel in the capital of Anhui Province has been using a stunning humanoid to welcome guests.

Apparently, the talking robot is so ‘human-like’ and ‘pretty’ many guests have failed to realise it is a machine at first, according to Chinese media.

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    Madame Wei has worked in the lobby of an upscale hotel in China’s Hefei city for a year and is popular among guests

    The robot’s facial features were designed by a supplier after the hotel said it wanted the robot to look ‘gentle’ and ‘elegant’

    Guests look at Madame Wei in Chinese Calligraphy Building. It is said that many guests have failed to realise it is a robot


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    The 340-room hotel, Chinese Calligraphy Building, has prepared a wardrobe filled with ancient Chinese robes for the mechanical beauty. They have named it Madame Wei – after a female calligrapher from the Jin Dynasty (265-420 AD).

    Mr Yin, a deputy manager of the hotel, told MailOnline that Madame Wei started to ‘work’ in the lobby from September last year, and has been highly popular among their guests. 

    He said Madame Wei can perform basic duties, such as greeting people and giving directions, but most tasks in the lobby are still being done by human workers.

    The mechanical beauty has a wardrobe filled with ancient Chinese robes and hotel staff will dress it according to season

    A deputy manager of the hotel said Madame Wei can perform basic duties, such as greeting people and giving directions

    Madame Wei was built by Hefei-based technology firm Ke Da Guo Chuang, who bought the parts and assembled the robot

    Madame Wei was built by Hefei-based technology company Ke Da Guo Chuang.

    The company’s general manager, Mr Gao, told MailOnline that his company was contacted by Chinese Calligraphy Building to make a robotic receptionist last year. His company then purchased the components and assembled the robot.

    Mr Gao said Madame Wei’s facial features were custom-made by one of his suppliers after the hotel said they wanted it to look ‘gentle’, ‘elegant’ and ‘classical’.

    Mr Gao declined to reveal the technical details of Madame Wei, insisting his company used ‘existing technology’ to build the robot. However, Madame Wei’s appears to be highly similar another life-like talking robot Jia Jia, which is developed by The University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei.

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      Highly realistic talking robot Jia Jia (pictured) is developed by The University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei

      Experts used the facial features of five female students from the university as the inspiration of Jia Jia’s looks

      It took the team three years to complete Jia Jia, which can speak, show micro-expressions, move its lips and body, yet seems to hold its head in a submissive manner. Jia Jia was unveiled in April, 2016.

      Jia Jia has natural eye movement, speech that is in sync with its lip movement and refers to its male creators as ‘lords’. According to Xinhua, experts used the facial features of five female students from The University of Science and Technology of China as the inspiration of Jia Jia’s looks. 

      Its inventor, Chen Xiaoping, predicted that within a decade or so, artificially intelligent robots like Jia Jia would begin performing a range of menial tasks in Chinese restaurants, nursing homes, hospitals and households.

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