Robot waiters: Built to serve

14:35, December 08, 2010      

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Photo taken on Dec. 7 shows a robot waiter is delivering drinks for customers. (Photo by Xinhua/Cui Jian)

Dining in restaurants, people not only hope they can get delicious food, but also require better service; therefore, more restaurants would like to update their services to make them special and unforgettable to attract more customers. However, have you ever had dinner in a restaurant with robot waiters? Let's check it out.

Recently, the first robot restaurant has been on trial in Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, and has piqued the curiosity of many customers, Chinanews reported on Dec. 8.

The restaurant is running a buffet hotpot business and uses six robots to serve its customers. Currently, the 500-squarere-meter restaurant can admit nearly 100 people dining here at the same time.

Located in the suburbs of Jinan, the restaurant also has a special name, "Continental Robot Experience Pavilion," which sounds more like a robot exhibition hall than a restaurant. Looking at its big French window, customers see more than 10 posters of robots and also can hear the music from the restaurant.


Photo taken on Dec. 7 shows a "beauty robot receptionist" is welcoming customer by the door.

Except from two "female" robot receptionists standing in front of the door, there are six robot waiters providing service for customers, two for drinks, two for ordering from small tables and two for working big tables.

They stop near dining tables and let customers order dishes and drinks themselves before moving to the next table. The six robot waiters can take care of 21 tables and about 100 customers at the same period of time.

A person in charge of the restaurant said the ordering and delivering work were mainly finished by robots waiters, and they only hired a few real people to be administrators and guides. The work in the kitchen still requires real people. He said that every robot was installed with a sensing system, so it would stop automatically when it feels something is in front of it.

He also revealed that the restaurant was still in a trial phase and business was pretty well. Most customers come to the restaurant out of curiosity and to enjoy the unusual dining experience the robots provide. Next, he said, they will increase the number of robots to more than 40.

An officer from the unit that invented and developed the robot told reporters that this kind of robot is basically delivering dishes, and they would develop more advanced robots, such as cleaning robots, and put them into restaurants.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online

(Editor:王寒露)

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