Meet the robots that serve you dinner
Hopefully the plan won’t end up like an episode of Doctor Who.
We’ve been told for years that we will all very soon be cursed – sorry, blessed – with the presence of super reliable self-driving cars, increasing the list of activities where human thought processes will become obsolete. Unless you’re a pedestrian, obviously; in that case you’ll need to be alert to the point of paranoia.
Of course, this technology is frequently mocked for its persistent unreliability and it would now seem that the food industry has overtaken its counterparts in motoring in the race to realise fully functioning and genuinely useful robotics (sorry, DriveTribe).
Dadawan – an Asian restaurant in the Dutch city of Maastricht – has pioneered the use of robots to help deliver food to hungry diners. The robots (that, unlike many of their predecessors, are blessed with the ability of actually working) have been employed to bolster efforts to keep the spread of COVID-19 at bay by reducing the number of contacts between customers and human staff (despite the constant horror stories, not even the Daily Mail has reported a case of coronavirus being passed between humans and machines).
The robots – named Amy, Aker and James – are operated by the restaurant’s human workers (which, in addition to providing greater reliability, reduces the likelihood of the computers enforcing world domination) and are loaded up with customers’ orders before being programmed to deliver them to a specific table. Once the diners remove their hotly anticipated food the robots automatically return to the kitchen.
Because the coronavirus control methods imposed in the Netherlands have been more successful than the options used by certain other countries, the restaurant industry has gradually been reopening since 1st June. As well as the hardworking robots, the Dadawan restaurant has limited the number of customers to thirty at a time and has spaced tables 1.5 metres apart.
There is no mention of the Dutch robots being fitted with laser cannons for use on particularly rude guests, but perhaps this will be a feature of a later model.