What do most of the science fiction movies or books tell about the robots? Run away! They are going to take over mankind and rule us. Is that a possibility? Well, that’s a debate for another day. Presently we are safe with our artificial friends who certainly are making our lives easier. Over the years we have seen many robots being a helpful part of human life. Even the first AI robot Sophia got her citizenship and VISA. Getting back to our story, this tale is about the robot servers in a cafe.
There is nothing new in that. Isn’t it? Well, even India has a restaurant where food is served by robots. Handled from backend, this restaurant called ROBOT is located in Chennai. Here’s a video that might fascinate you!
This restaurant in Japan is also letting the robots serve food to the customers. However, the catch is in the handlers. The server robots are actually operated by people from the backend. This restaurant decided to run the robots with the help of severely disabled people. Started as a Beta version, this café opened for two weeks in Tokyo.
Known as Dawn Ver Beta cafe, it used robots from Orly Lab and they were operated by people suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other spinal cord injuries. They controlled the robots from a remote location.
Initially, 10 people were hired who operated the robots from their home and were paid about 1,000 yen (Rs. 630) per hour. The backend employees controlled the robots through a computer. It tracked the eye movements of the bed-ridden patients and allowed them to operate the robots. With help of the technology, these differently abled people were able to serve and even communicate with the customers.
We often fail to understand that people who are suffering from serious illness are prone to loneliness and depression. This is because of the restrictions in their life. This café is like a first step in changing that situation and giving a platform for differently abled people to become self-sufficient.
As the official website of the beta café states, this is an effort to help people counter loneliness by providing them with an ‘alter ego’ for movement through technology. Even the CEO of Ory Labs said:
‘I want to create a world in which people who can’t move their bodies can work too.’
There is no doubt this is a great initiative. The beta café is now closed as the owners are scouting for funding and soon it will be reopened. Though people will take time to accept such a concept, it is a firm step towards creating a better society.
In India also people are taking steps towards creating a better environment for differently-abled people by creating job opportunities. There are several cafes across the country that are run by people with physical ailments. Two of such famous cafes are:
- Mirchi & Mime is run by hearing and speech-impaired wait staff
- Taste of Darkness in Hyderabad is operated by is visually challenged or blind servers
We wish this concept of robot servers in a cafe becomes a success. What are your thoughts on the same? Why don’t you share with us in the comments below?