Robots serving you food is no longer an element of imagination, but a high-tech reality. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has initiated the futuristic restaurant concept where waiters have been replaced by robots.
China has never failed to impress the globe with its every high-tech marvel. From useful gadgets to technological giants, China is a leading marketer of modern services. The day is here when little robotic waiter wheels up to the table, raises its glass lid to reveal a steaming plate of local Shanghai-style crayfish and announces in low, mechanical tones, “Enjoy your meal.”
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is trying their best to modernise service and retail in a country where robotics and artificial intelligence are increasingly being integrated into commerce. “Robot.He”, developed by Alibaba, will serve to raise efficiency and lower labour costs. Little robots of the size of a microwave oven, rolling around the dining room on table-high runways, will now become a usual scene in these restaurants.
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According to Cao Haitao, Alibaba product manager who developed this concept, it is rather cost effective to replace waiters with robots. In Shanghai, a waiter costs up to 10,000 yuan ($1,500) per month. That turns out to be hundreds of thousands in cost every year. Also, two shifts of people are needed. Cao insists that when it comes to robots, they don’t need two shifts and they are on duty every day.
The diners are attached to Alibaba’s another venture Hema chain of semi-automated supermarkets, where grocery shoppers fill their carts on a mobile app and have the merchandise brought to them at checkout via conveyor tracks on the ceiling, or delivered straight to their homes.
The robotic restaurants will soon be featured in Alibaba’s 57 Hema markets, widespread across 13 Chinese cities.
With advancing technologies and never-ending race to innovations, it will be hard to anticipate what the future has in it for the world to devour!