Meet the moody, meowing robot cat waiter | Daily News


 

Meet the moody, meowing robot cat waiter

A food-ferrying robot cat with attitude has been revealed at the CES 2020 tech expo in Las Vegas as a solution to understaffed restaurants.

The BellaBot, developed by Chinese company PuduTech, is a robotic waiter capable of delivering up to 10kg of restaurant orders to waiting customers. While its body is comprised of a stack of shelves carrying food trays, BellaBot has the head, face and personality of a crotchety feline.

The robot – described as a “cute kitty” by its creators – can move autonomously through restaurants, meowing at customers as it arrives to encourage them to collect their order.

Patrons can then give the BellaBot a scratch behind the ears or a pat on the head. Initially the robot will purr and react with pleasure, but distract it too long and, fittingly, its mood will quickly change.

“BellaBot shows you a lovely face in the screen when you touch its ear,” said PuduTech. “But if you keep doing so, it gets mad to remind you not to interrupt its job.”

Quirky as it seems, the BellaBot is the successor to PuduTech’s existing, more utilitarian, food-delivery bot which is already operational in 2000 restaurants worldwide. The company says that it is particularly targeting Chinese restaurants that struggle to employ staff.

While BellaBot may struggle to negotiate busy service times, it is part of a growing trend of automation in the hospitality business. PuduTech is also demonstrating its dish-return robot, HolaBot, in its “futuristic restaurant” space at CES.

Unusual robots have already emerged as a key trend at the world’s biggest technology showcase. Robotics company UBtech are showing off an upgraded version of its humanoid “Walker Bot”, which can now do yoga and tai chi poses.

There are also “lovebots” which offer emotional support and even a small robot from Charmin that can deliver toilet paper to the needy after being beckoned by a smartphone app.

The Telegraph


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