Replace humans with service robots, thus attracting customer curiosity, and sit back and watch as the cash rolls in. That’s the case in China, where a new restaurant (the “Continental Robot Experience Pavilion”) is enjoying brisk business after word got out about its robotic waiters and receptionists. Six robot waiters deliver selections from the buffet on carts, while two female receptionist robots greet customers at the door. The waiters stop and allow the customers to make their selections before moving to the next table. Safety doesn’t seem to be a problem, as the robots are equipped with sensors that stop the robot when an obstacle is detected. The owner isn’t stopping at 8 robots, with plans to procure at least 40 more in the future.
[source: People’s Daily]
The same lesson is being learned in South Korea, where a new Hybrid Ticketing Service Robot is being deployed in multiple cinemas in 2011. Unlike the earlier CIROMI, this robot comes equipped with a ticket printer. Technically speaking the robot functions like a moving self-service ticket machine, allowing anyone to make their movie selection and buy their tickets or make advance reservations using standard bank or gift cards. The robot sports a user-friendly interface with a “help call” button if you find yourself hopelessly lost. In addition, the robot doubles as a security guard at night. It patrols the area and if it detects unusual activity it will broadcast a live video feed to the monitoring center and send text messages to the business owner.
[source: Daum (KR)]