A Hong Kong-style restaurant that recently opened in Ningbo has been grabbing a mass of media attention after having “employed” a team of robots, costing 60,000 yuan a piece, to work as its wait staff.
Located in the city’s Liancheng shopping mall, the restaurant has been flooded with tourists and locals alike, who are all keen to get a flavor for this new style of restaurant service, reports NetEase.
The “waiters” navigate their way around with the use of an optical sensing system, enabling them to independently serve food to any table within the restaurant. Additionally, the robots hold the capability to speak up to 40 phrases in Mandarin Chinese, such as “enjoy your meal,” and have received plenty of praise from customers.
One customer, surnamed Xu, was especially impressed with the service and even considered buying a robot for her family. “The boss’s creativity is exceptional, and this idea feels very fresh. My child has been begging me to get one (robot) to serve the family at home,” she told reporters.
The owner of the restaurant, Lu Dike, explained that he is very positive regarding the financial savings that can be made through hiring robots. According to Lu, each robot will have a five-year-long lifespan, thus only setting him back 12,000 yuan per year. He also added that they only require a four-hour charge, which will enable them to work for eight hours at a time.
Previously on Shanghaiist: China is about to become the world’s largest robot market
By Robert Ridley