A former Chinese police officer invented a hotel check-in robot

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A former Chinese police officer invented a hotel check-in robot

Normally, when you check into a hotel, you need to show your ID card and sometimes pay a deposit to get your room key. If there are many people wanting, this can take long.

But in China, a startup is developing a robot to solve this problem.

Resthour Technology was founded by Wang Qi, who worked as a police officer for 12 years in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province, before starting the company in 2017 in the same city.

Resthour rolled out a robot that can replace human receptionists to handle the hotel check-in and check-out process. But unfortunately it looks nothing at all like the 3CPO butler robot you may know from Star Wars.

It’s more like a fancy version of the terminals you’re used to for airport check-ins. It connects with the Chinese national electric identity information database. This allows you to check in without showing your physical identity card. Instead, you just get your face scanned.

The company claims its robot can check you in within 10 seconds and check out happens in just 3 seconds.

Resthour just concluded its Series A financing round at RMB 50 million (USD 7.3 million), 36Kr reported.

The firm says it has leased its robots to more than 10,000 hotels in China and now plans to use part of the new funds to get more clients and to do research and development.

Of course Resthour is not alone in trying to improve efficiency in the hotel sector with technology.

Along with Alibaba’s AI lab, Fliggy last year opened a smart hotel called Flyzoo, coincidentally also in Hangzhou, which allows incoming travellers to check in in advance via Flyzoo’s app and lets them to open the door by getting their face scanned. Flyzoo also features in-house AI voice assistant Tmall Genie which can shut down the curtain or turn off the light inside a room.

36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.