Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Kunshan, China (AFP) Aug 14, 2014
It's more teatime than Terminator -- a restaurant in China is electrifying customers by using more than a dozen robots to cook and deliver food.
Mechanical staff greet customers, deliver dishes to tables and even stir-fry meat and vegetables at the eatery in Kunshan, which opened last week.
"My daughter asked me to invent a robot because she doesn't like doing housework," the restaurant's founder Song Yugang told AFP.
Two robots are stationed by the door to cheerfully greet customers, while four short but humanoid machines carry trays of food to the tables.
In the kitchen, two large blue robots with glowing red eyes specialise in frying, while another is dedicated to making dumplings.
Song told the local Modern Times newspaper that each robot costs around 40,000 yuan ($6,500) -- roughly equal to the annual salary of a human employee.
"The robots can understand 40 everyday sentences. They can't get sick or ask for vacation. After charging up for two hours they can work for five hours," he added.
The restaurant, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, follows in the tracks of another robotic eatery which opened in the northeastern city of Harbin in 2012.
Rising labour costs in China have encouraged manufacturers to turn to automation, and the country last year surpassed Japan to become the world's biggest consumer of industrial robots.
The cooking robots -- which have a fixed repertoire -- exhibit limited artificial intelligence, and are loaded with ingredients by human staff, who also help to make some dishes.
But customers at the restaurant who tucked into fried tomatoes with egg, soup, and rice were thrilled with the experience.
"My children are really excited by the robots," said Yang Limei, a mother of three.
The round-headed waiter robots can only move along fixed paths, and politely ask customers to move out of their way whenever their routes are blocked.
"I've never seen a robot serving food before," said Yuan Yuan, nine. "I'm really surprised."
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|