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A Singaporean startup runs the world's first robotics café

#artificialintelligence

The food and beverage industry is a tough line to be in--from intense competition to rising manpower and rental costs and now, a global pandemic. According to Enterprise Singapore, only 60% of small F&B businesses survive in their first five years of operation, and a third of F&B outlets are replaced each year.To tackle the challenges of narrowing margins, the tight manpower crunch and other common issues faced by F&B owners, Singaporean company ROSS Digital has conceptualized and launched Ratio, the world's first robotic café and lounge. A café by day and a lounge by night, Ratio has robots working hand in hand with its F&B staff--"ratiologists"--to offer "super drinks and exceptional services to consumers." After launching several outlets in China since 2018, it has opened its first branch in Singapore at The Centrepoint, in conjunction with JustCo, the workspace provider. Ratio serves up close to 60 drinks, from authentic Nanyang kopi to artisanal coffees and inventive cocktails.


Robots equipped with infrared cameras could patrol holiday destinations under new EU plans

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Robots and drones equipped with infrared cameras could patrol holiday destinations and enforce social distancing rules under new EU plans to save the summer break. European Commission tourism proposals imaging'artificial intelligence and robotics [to] underpin public health measures', alongside infection tracing mobile apps. Automatons could appear in places like airports, beaches, resorts and restaurants to make sure that people keep at least 5 feet (1.5 metres) away from each other. On-board infrared cameras could allow the robots to measure people's temperatures from a distance and identify people with a fever that need to self-isolate. The plans come after Singapore employed a Boston Dynamics Spot robot to roam parks, broadcasting a message reminding pedestrians to keep their distance.


Panasonic teams up with Chinese hot pot chain Haidilao to open robot restaurants

The Japan Times

In Haidilao International Holding Ltd.'s hot pot restaurants, robots are replacing chefs and waiters. Asia's biggest listed restaurant chain by market value is partnering with Panasonic Corp. to open what the two companies say is the world's first eatery with a fully automated kitchen on Oct. 28 in Beijing. At the new Haidilao restaurant, robots will take orders, prepare and deliver raw meat and fresh vegetables to customers to plop into soups prepared at their tables. The automation will lower labor costs and boost efficiency, underpinning Haidilao's plan to expand to as many as 5,000 restaurants worldwide, the companies said. "It could be difficult to expand to that size in terms of personnel, so Haidilao is shifting earlier to an operation that doesn't rely so much on manual labor," said Jun Yamashita, managing director of Ying Hai Holding Pte., the Singapore-based joint venture Haidilao and Panasonic have set up. "That's where Panasonic's technology comes in."


Rise Of The Machine: Will Your Job Become Obsolete?

#artificialintelligence

On my way back from Singapore a few weeks ago, I had the chance to watch an interesting TED Talk about robots taking human jobs. It got me thinking: What would happen if robots and machines took over? Would they take every job imaginable, or just take over a few industries? Will your job become obsolete as machine learning and artificial intelligence continue to ebb into even the most mundane tasks of our daily lives? My perspective is that machines and robots will make our lives easier, but not take everyone's jobs.


Meet Pizza Hut's latest employee - a robot which will take your order and process payment

#artificialintelligence

SINGAPORE - The concept of fast food will be taken to a new level at Pizza Hut with the introduction of a robot which will take your order and process payment - all in the name of quicker service. From Wednesday (March 14) to Sunday, diners at Pizza Hut's Safra Punggol outlet will be the first in South-east Asia to be able to try out the new technology. After the five-day trial, Pizza Hut will take customers' feedback before deciding if the robot, which has a female voice and greets patrons with a "hello", stays at the outlet. To place an order, customers first have to greet the robot and pair their Mastercard Masterpass account embedded in the Pizza Hut Singapore mobile app. They can then verbally tell the robot their orders and show a QR code that will provide their table information.


Smart hotels on the rise in Singapore TTG Asia

#artificialintelligence

Recent initiatives by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) are spurring technology take-up in the hospitality sector at an unprecedented rate, with hotels in the city increasingly adopting new solutions ranging from service delivery automation to integrated mobile applications and virtual concierges.


In Good Company: Software firm Ramco's 'VA' has his head in the Cloud

#artificialintelligence

Mr Virender Aggarwal, chief executive of Ramco Systems, knows what it is like to feel the world is collapsing around you. In January 2009, as the top man for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa for Satyam Computer Services, a Big Six Indian outsourcing firm, he was summoned with other top executives to the company's Hyderabad headquarters for what he thought was a routine meeting. Gathered at the Novotel Hotel, he remembers a senior colleague staggering into the room, face ashen and so shaken that the Blackberry phone he was holding fell out of his hands. Dr B. Ramalinga Raju, Satyam's founder and CEO, had just admitted to cooking the company books on a massive scale and gone to the police with his confession. India's biggest corporate scandal had just broken, sending tremors around the world and shaking the nation's much-admired outsourcing industry to its core.


Hoteliers would like to employ more robots

#artificialintelligence

IN A recent blog post, Gulliver expressed his exasperation at having to interact with other humans when he stayed at hotels. After all, in the age of mobile check-in and automated bartenders, it must be possible to swerve most of these pointless encounters (and avoid having to hand over tips for the most mundane services, such as pouring a beer or being shown to your room). One solution that didn't occur to him was robot butlers. The M Social Singapore hotel is introducing a droid that can deliver room service to guests. It navigates using 3D cameras and can negotiate lifts and manoeuvre around people wandering down the corridors.


Softbank's Pepper robot just got a job taking orders at Pizza Hut

#artificialintelligence

It's graduation season here in the US, and the job market is busier than ever. For Softbank's emotion-reading Pepper robot, however, landing a gig seems to have been easy as pie. MasterCard today announced that Pepper will soon be implemented in Pizza Hut restaurants in Singapore to take orders and process payments. They do so by "greeting" Pepper and pairing a MasterPass account to Pepper's attached tablet. Then, Pepper will take your order and allow you to customize it however you like without any side-eyeing or risk of getting spit in your food.