Robotics are beginning to enter almost every aspect of our lives as technological advancements mean that robots now have more purposes than they have ever had before. The purpose of most robots is to simplify a specific aspect of life by saving time or effort, and this often involves them adopting the roles formerly undertaken by humans, even if the robot does not have the physical characteristics of a human. Just one example is the robot cat that acts as a waiter that has been unveiled in Las Vegas. BellaBot is a robot cat that has been designed to carry plates of food to customers in restaurants, says the BBC. The robot, which was designed by the Chinese firm PuduTech, is just one of the innovative inventions that are being unveiled at the Las Vegas CES tech expo this year.
Alongside the BellaBot, there are robots that serve many different purposes being demonstrated at the CES tech expo. For example, Charmin unveiled RollBot, which quickly takes toilet roll to the bathroom when you have run out. Another is Walker, designed by UBTech, which can sit in yoga positions. These are just two of the examples of the bizarre creations that were unveiled, and one expert said that the creations will only get more peculiar in the future. BellaBot is not the first robot that can carry food to tables in restaurants. This robot is an upgrade of a previous model that was more utilitarian in its design. The new version has a lot more personality as it features a screen that shows animations of cat faces. However, it has retained and improved on the practical function as it features four trays that can each carry up to 10 kilograms of food.
There are also some fun and quirky features to the design of this robotic waiter. One of these is that the cat makes a meowing sound when it arrives at the table. This is intended to encourage those sitting at the table to pick up their food. Unfortunately, the design features do not extend to the robot putting the food directly on the table, some level of interaction with humans is needed. Another interactive element of the design is that customers can pet the robot cat, and it is programmed to respond in different ways depending on the length of the petting. At first, the robot will respond by saying that the person’s hand is warm. However, if the petting continues, the cat becomes mad and tells them that they are stopping it from doing its job.
The Chinese company is demonstrating its robot at the CES show in a booth that is designed to look like a futuristic restaurant. However, this is not a newly launched product as it is already in use in China. PuduTech has targeted restaurant owners in China who have experienced difficulties in hiring enough staff. There are already more than two thousand of these robots in operation in restaurants not only in China but also in many locations around the world.
There are many benefits to a restaurant having these devices. The first is that it can save on the cost of hiring people to serve food, including both recruitment expenses and labor costs. The robot cat can also carry more food in one delivery than a human waiter, thus making a service more efficient. Another issue that using robot cats can resolve is providing cover for staff absence. A further benefit is that the use of such robots would add a novelty element to the restaurant. Initially, this could attract interest in the restaurant and increase its profits. However, the novelty factor may soon wear off, so the financial benefits are potentially short-term While there are many benefits to using robot cats in restaurants, there are also some challenges and there are some who are opposed to their use. The main challenge is how the robot cat will cope in a busy restaurant environment. The robot cat will likely have some difficulty navigating through large groups of people and other waiting staff.
This could potentially lead to further problems. For example, if the robot is getting under the customers’ feet, then it could lead to someone falling. Similarly, if it bumps into tables while carrying the food, there is the risk of plates getting dropped.
In terms of the opposition, some argue that using robot cats in restaurants take away employment opportunities for humans. This argument is countered by the argument that the robot cats can work alongside human waiters and can act as cover or support. Despite the challenges and oppositions to the use of robots, they will likely continue to play an increasingly important role in the function of restaurants around the world. This is something about which experts in this field agree. Paolo Pescatore is a tech consultant from PP Foresight. In his opinion, restaurants across the world will inevitably begin to rely increasingly on automated devices in some form or another. There is the potential for them to play roles in almost every aspect of running a restaurant, from pot washing to the accounts. This could save time, effort, and money for restaurant owners in the long-run.
Future models of automation for restaurants will have even greater improvements than current models as this is one of the most competitive fields and also one of the fastest-growing trends in technology. For this reason, Pescatore argues that quirky robots are likely to stand out from the crowd in commercially competitive, consumer-facing settings as consumers are looking for something different from what other people already have. In the coming years, it is likely that the robots demonstrated at events such as the CES tech expo will have increasingly quirky features and offer even more functions and features. These are exciting times for those working in technology fields and for those who have an interest in robotics.