Many hotels, restaurants, and bakeries use dumbwaiters to easily and efficiently move food between floors. As an aid to servers, dumbwaiters are used to make things easier. In China they are giving up the dumbwaiter in exchange for robots.
At Robot Restaurant in downtown Harbin, China, you will get a dining experience like no other. Servers at this restaurant rely on high tech version of the dumbwaiter. When you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by the host who says, “Greetings Earth Person! Welcome to Robot Restaurant!” The robot host welcomes you with open arms and is your first, but not last, meeting with a mechanical employee. Once you sit down, your robot server will come and take your party’s order. When your food is ready, your robot server will drop off the meal to your table. All of the robots have different names and personalities. The “Singing Robot” may come to your table and sing a song while you eat. There is even a mechanical dog that can sit at the tables and entertain children. All of the robots move across a track on the floor and run on electricity.
Food can be delivered at Robot Restaurant by the mechanical servers or by a conveyor belt that is suspended in the air. Similar to the conveyor system used at Yo! Sushi in Japan, Robot Restaurant sets the bar a little higher with their conveyor belt. Suspended in the air, the conveyor belt can get the food to the correct table and then mechanized arms set the food onto the table.
The robots are given breaks after the busy hours to recharge their batteries. They can work for up to 5 hours before they need a break, which is longer than some humans! However, each robot costs around $40,000 dollars, which is more than double what the average human server would make in a year. The Robot Restaurant offers a large menu of over 30 dishes. With a bright and inviting décor, the Robot Restaurant is definitely a fun place to eat.
The idea for the restaurant came from the success of a restaurant called Dalu Rebot Restaurant in Jinan. Dalu Rebot Restaurant opened in 2010 and has robots that resemble Star Wars androids that wander around.
The restaurant’s next endeavor is to have robots developed that can help with kitchen chores such as washing the dishes. They also hope to up upgrade their current server robots to be able to refill people’s drinks. Fortunately, even with all the robot workers, the food is still prepared by good old fashioned humans!