As South Korea moves forward to COVID-19 containment, it’s their cafes that could provide a glimpse into the future of the restaurant trade through the introduction of robotic baristas. These robotic baristas will seek to keep customers and employees apart in an effort to allow “distancing in daily life”, lowering the chances of a pandemic like this to rapidly affect the nation in the future.
The way these robot baristas work is through a two-pronged approach. An arm that can prepare up to 60 different hot and cold drinks which then link up to a robot with wheels that delivers the orders to customers. While this is extremely impressive as is, these machines also have self-driving tech built-in, with the AI suggesting the best route throughout the premises, coupled with voice control for customer communication.
Lee Dong, the director of research where these machines are being created, said this in a statement:
“Our system needs no input from people from order to delivery, and tables were sparsely arranged to ensure smooth movements of the robots, which fits well with the current ‘untact’ and distancing campaign,”
These words from Dong imply that there may be a world in the very near future where jobs such as baristas and food servers may cease to exist and our robotic overlords will be put in place. While some may see this as a bit of doom and gloom with jobs lost, it’s helpful to remember that robots are also being created to help those with disabilities, as well as the number of jobs that will be created in robotic research and construction.
What do you think of the implementation of robotic baristas? They will encourage social distancing, providing a safer environment for all but will their drinks be as good? Guess we’ll have to give it a go and find out.