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Chinese Restauranteur Boasts 18 Robot Workers

A green robot carries a tray of dumplings at a restaurant in Harbin, Northeast China.

A restaurant in Harbin, China staffs 18 robots; one to welcome customers as they arrive, others to cook the food, and more to deliver plates to tables. The owner says the robots, which cost between 200,000~300,000 yuan ($32,000~$48,000 USD), can display 10 different emotions and speak simple phrases.

The robot stops automatically if a customer gets in its way thanks to ultrasonic range sensors, and will sound an alarm if it needs to be repaired.  And it knows to return to its power source when it gets low on juice (its batteries have a life of around 5 hours).  Below, A transformer-like “robot” greets guests.

Some funny comments from a Japanese website:

  • I bet there’s a person inside
  • It doesn’t look right for a waiter!!
  • With a population of 1.3 billion should they be using robots?
  • Even with a huge population labor costs have to come down.  Companies like Foxconn are working on a factory with a million robots.
  • If it’s an AGV why is there no magnetic tape on the floor?  It’s unlikely to have lasers so… radio controlled?
  • I like it, it reminds me of the robots from old comics
  • I demand they make me a robotic maid!
  • More people losing work

What do you think?  I say if you’re going to use LEDs for eyes, you should cover them with a tinted glass visor so that they stand out.

[source: People’s Daily (JP)] via [U-1 Sokuhou (JP)]