Robot barista! South Korea's cafe hires 'modern' help to maintain social distancing

The new robot barista at a cafe in Daejeon, South Korea, is courteous and swift as it seamlessly makes its way towards customers.

Take a look: 

Waiter cum robot!

"Here is your Rooibos almonds tea latte, please enjoy. It's even better if you stir it," it says, as a customer reaches for her drink on a tray installed within the large, gleaming white, capsule-shaped robot.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Means for social distancing

After managing to contain an outbreak of the new coronavirus that infected more than 11,000 and killed 269, South Korea is slowly transitioning from intensive social distancing rules towards what the government calls "distancing in daily life".

(Photograph:Reuters)

Make way for 'Robot Barista'

Robots could help people observe social distancing in public, said Lee Dong-bae, director of research at Vision Semicon, the smart factory solution provider that developed the robot barista.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Smooth movements

"Our system needs no input from people from order to delivery, and tables are sparsely arranged to ensure smooth movements of the robots, which fits well with the current distancing campaign," he said.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Used for making and serving coffee!

The system, which uses a coffee-making robotic arm and a serving robot, can make 60 different types of coffee and serves the drinks to customers at their seats. It can also communicate and transmit data to other devices and contains self-driving technology to calculate the best routes around the cafe.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Just seven minutes!

An order of six drinks, processed through a kiosk, took just seven minutes. The only human employee at the two-storey cafe was a patissier who also has some cleaning duties and refills ingredients.

(Photograph:Reuters)

AI to make custom drinks

The manufacturer aims to supply at least 30 cafes with robots this year. It is also working with a state-run science institute on an upgrade that would add big data and artificial intelligence technology to make custom drinks.

(Photograph:Reuters)

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