Cyprus Mail
World

Cafe hires robot barista to help with social distancing

A robot that takes orders, makes coffee and brings the drinks straight to customers REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The new robot barista at a cafe in Daejeon, South Korea, is courteous and swift as it seamlessly makes its way towards customers.

“Here is your Rooibos almonds tea latte, please enjoy. It’s even better if you stir it,” it says, as a customer reaches for her drink on a tray installed within the large, gleaming white, capsule-shaped robot.

After managing to contain an outbreak of the new coronavirus that infected more than 11,000 and killed 269, South Korea is slowly transitioning from intensive social distancing rules towards what the government calls “distancing in daily life”.

Robots could help people observe social distancing in public, said Lee Dong-bae, director of research at Vision Semicon, the smart factory solution provider that developed the robot barista.

“Our system needs no input from people from order to delivery, and tables are sparsely arranged to ensure smooth movements of the robots, which fits well with the current distancing campaign,” he said.


The system, which uses a coffee-making robotic arm and a serving robot, can make 60 different types of coffee and serves the drinks to customers at their seats. It can also communicate and transmit data to other devices and contains self-driving technology to calculate the best routes around the cafe.

An order of six drinks, processed through a kiosk, took just seven minutes. The only human employee at the two-storey cafe was a patissier who also has some cleaning duties and refills ingredients.

The manufacturer aims to supply at least 30 cafes with robots this year. It is also working with a state-run science institute on an upgrade that would add big data and artificial intelligence technology to make custom drinks.

“Robots are fun and it was easy because you don’t have to pick up your order,” said student Lee Chae-mi, 23.

“But I’m also a bit of worried about the job market as many of my friends are doing part-time jobs at cafes and these robots would replace humans.”

SEE ALSO: Italian restaurant offers touch-free menus

SEE ALSO: Plastic pods offer solution for COVID dining in France

Related posts

Archaeologists uncover Neanderthal remains in caves near Rome

EU seals new Pfizer deal for 1.8 billion vaccines

Reuters News Service

Key Scottish election as pro-independence party heads for win

Turkey accuses Israel of ‘terror’ over Palestinian clashes at Al-Aqsa

Four ex-cops indicted on US civil rights charges in Floyd killing

Biden says he is confident he can meet Putin soon