The strangely named Dalu Rebot Restaurant, in the northeastern Chinese city of Jinan, is a 100-seat hotpot restaurant with a very peculiar staffing choice: It features two robot receptionists and six robot waiters who wheel around drinks and food on large indoor pedal-driven carts. The restaurant, which opened earlier this week, has a circular seating design with a track placed around the perimeter of the seating area. Even though the robot waiters have a built-in security system so they don't run over people standing in front of them, the track seems like a smart way to avoid marauding cycle-bots crashing into steaming-hot hotpots while trying to deliver drinks. Hotpot, too, is probably a smart move, since there's not a whole lot for a waiter to do besides bring drinks and accoutrements. The Shandong Dalu Science and Technology Company is behind the robotic waiter initiative, ultimately hoping to have a staff of 40 robots.
If you lie awake at night worrying about the'threat' of Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking over the world, then take heart from a recent episode involving robot waiters in China. Three restaurants in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou have been forced to fire all of their robot staff after their utter incompetence began costing them money. Two of the restaurants have closed completely after discovering the clumsy waiters could not perform simple tasks like taking orders, pouring drinks and carrying soup, reports say. The slacking robot team also kept breaking down and after a string of complaints the third restaurant mentioned above decided to sack all but one and bring back human employees, the Workers' Daily newspaper reports.
A restaurant that opened this month in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong uses robots for waiters, boosting efficiency and providing further proof that human beings are superfluous. Machines don't grumble over tips. The traditional hotpot eatery is staffed by more than a dozen automated servers, the distant and brightly colored relations of Star Wars' golden droid C-3PO. The robots whir around the room on little bicycles carrying meat and veggies to be dipped by restaurant-goers into bubbling broth. Customers need not shout, weep or make obscene gestures to get their waiter's attention.
The recordings caught top members of the government of former Prime Minister Donald Tusk, now the head of the European Council, using crude language and making rough assessments of foreign allies. The scandal led to the resignation of several senior officials, including Radek Sikorski, a former foreign minister and speaker of the Poland Parliament.
The president of Kazakhstan took to some extreme security precautions at a New York City restaurant on Monday, according to the New York Post. He ordered the waiters to be replaced with his own servants, his dishes to be disinfected with vodka, and every piece of his food to be tested by his own doctor to find any danger, sources said. Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Mamo, a celebrity hotspot in SoHo that sees clientele such as Samuel L. Jackson, Jay-Z, and Beyonce. "He had eight people from the [US] Secret Service inside the restaurant," a witness said, "as well as 15 to 20 people from his own security detail. Outside the restaurant, it was insane."