Flying Robot Waiters From Infinium Robotics
You heard that right - flying robot waiters will soon zoom in with your order in Singapore.
(Flying robot waiter video)
Infinium Robotics and Timbre Group – one of Singapore’s most popular restaurant chains – signed a memorandum of understanding on October 31 to launch the robots in five outlets.
They are looking for productivity-related government grants to help offset development costs, which are estimated to be a “low seven-figure sum,” according to Woon Junyang, chief executive officer at Infinium Robotics.
Woon said he believes that replacing waiters and waitresses with robots would help alleviate Singapore’s labor crunch and allow human waiters to focus on more interesting higher value tasks, such as getting feedback from customers and ordering wine.
“This will result in an enhanced dining experience which will eventually lead to increased sales and revenue for the restaurants,” he said.
Singapore has been facing a labor shortage, particularly in the service sector, due to ever stricter restrictions on the number of foreign workers allowed into the island state in recent years.
The first science fictional reference to the idea of a flying robot waiter is the serving robot from H. Beam Piper's 1962 novel Space Viking:
As they sat down, he aimed his ultraviolet light-pencil at a serving robot. Unlike Mardukan robots, which looked like surrealist conceptions of Pre-Atomic armored knights, it was a smooth ovoid floating a few inches from the floor on its own contragravity; as it approached, its top opened like a bursting beetle shell and hinged trays of food swung out. The boy looked at it in fascination.
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