Rising labor costs push business owners to adopt new methods of employment
A rapidly evolving Chinese workforce is being infiltrated with automated machines. While manual labor jobs were some of the first to be replaced with robots, the futuristic technology is making its way into the food industry.
A restaurant in Eastern Chinese city of Kunshan, is using more than a dozen robots as part of its everyday staff. The automated employees greet customers, carry food trays to tables, stir-fry vegetables, and cook fresh dumplings.
To carry out their duties, the robots have been equipped with limited artificial intelligence. Those in the kitchen are loaded with fresh ingredients and are left to whip up the hot meals.
The restaurant’s owner, Song Jugan explains to the Modern Times Newspaper, that at a price point of 40,000 yen ($6,500), the robots cost about the same as one year’s salary of a human employee. They come with additional perks:
The robots can understand 40 everyday sentences. They can’t get sick or ask for vacation. After charging up for two hours they can work for five hours.
While the restaurant is not the first of its kind to appear in China, it signifies a trend in automated technology. But all hope is not yet lost for the traditional server- the robots still need help cooking complicated meals, and must run along a fixed track.
What the robots lack in operational efficiency, is most certainly made up for with a novel dining experience. Children are sure to get a kick out of the bots, as are tech and sci-fi aficionados.