If you thought we were safe from impending doom at the hands of our robot overlords, think again. A restaurant in Harbin, China is staffed entirely by robots — 18 of them in all. A robot usher leads you to your seat where robot waitstaff take your order and bring you food cooked by robot chefs. Soon we may be marking Robot Independence Day on our calendars.
When you walk into this futuristic restaurant, a robot graciously greets you: “Earth Person, Hello, Welcome to the Robot Restaurant.” From there, you’re led to your table where you can order either noodles or dumplings, each prepared by a specialized robot. Then, robot waiters bring you your food by following a specialized track on the floor. The food is perched on a suspended conveyor belt and when the plate reaches the correct table the robotic arms lift it off and set it down in front of the diner.
The best part? Singing robots serenade diners!
The whole operation cost around 5 million Yuan (US$78,7130). After all, each robot cost 200,000 to 300,000 Yuan (US$32,000) to build and maintain. Each robot can only work for 5 hour shifts before taking a 2 hour lunch — that is, a charging break. Despite the hefty cost of its waitstaff, the restaurant only charges between 40 and 50 yuan (US$6.30 to $7.90) for most of its menu items. A small price to pay to dine in the future.
According to Eater, this is China’s 4th robot restaurant, one of which is Star Wars themed, featuring droids milling about the room serving food to ravenous fans. If you happen to stop for a byte at one of these electric eateries, make sure you tip well — you wouldn’t want our future robot overlords to look down upon you, right?
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