Robot waiters that are controlled by disabled employees will be used for the first time at a cafe in Tokyo, Japan, with an initial trial of two weeks.
When it comes to the ever-growing world of robotics, it always feels as if Japan is a little ahead of the curve compared to the rest of the world. The Japanese continue to prove that the ongoing development of robotics is nothing to be scared of, but rather an area of science and technology that can greatly improve our quality of life.
Robots are already used in a number of ways by the Japanese in order to aid the old and the young. Companion robots are used in some nursing homes to keep the elderly company during times that people may not be around. A company called Ory Laboratory has also developed and distributed telecommuting robots to some companies so that employees can still be present even when they're off sick.
Ory Laboratory is about to go on an even more pioneering adventure with its next project. The robotics company has created a robot waiter that can be controlled by disabled people. The robots will be used starting next month at the Dawn ver Beta cafe in Tokyo. The trial will begin on November 26th, 2018, and run on weekdays until December 7th, 2018, according to Engadget.
The 47-inch high robots may look a little creepy, but what they will enable is unprecedented. The disabled men and women controlling the robots would be unable to work otherwise, and some users will even be able to control the OriHime-Ds by merely moving their eyes. Nozomi Murata, who suffers from autophagic vacuolar myopathy, gave a demonstration, back in August, of how the robots will work.
The initial trial of the robot waiters will only run for two weeks, but Ory Laboratory's ultimate aim extends far beyond that. The company wants the OriHime-Ds to be a fulltime fixture of the cafe, and maybe even more establishments, by the time the Olympic and Paralympic Games arrive in Tokyo. That gives them less than two years to iron out any issues they might find. We're hoping they manage to achieve that goal.