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A robot waiter at a fast-food restaurant in China
A robot waiter at a fast-food restaurant in China
Image: ODN via YouTube

Robot waiters did such a terrible job they forced two restaurants to close

The robots were not able to carry soup or other foods steadily and broke down freqently.
Apr 16th 2016, 10:00 AM 14,816 16

THE INEVITABLE ROBOT uprising is still a few years off.

A string of restaurants in Gungzhou, China that used robots as waiters has run into a string of difficulties — ultimately closing down two restaurants and ditching almost all of their android assistants.

According to Shanghaiist (which bases its report on a Chinese-language Workers’ Daily story), two restaurants in the Southern Chinese city have been forced to shutter due to constant issues.

A big draw of the robots is their price — the initial outlay (50,000 Yuan — around $7,700) and subsequent upkeep cost is less than the wages of a human waiter.

But there’s a problem: The robots are, in a word, incompetent.

One (human) waiter said: “The robots weren’t able to carry soup or other food steady and they would frequently break down. The boss has decided never to use them again.”

Another (human) complained that “their skills are somewhat limited … They can’t take orders or pour hot water for customers.”

A third restaurant is reportedly getting rid of all but one of their robots in favour of traditional, living wait staff. One of the restaurant owners remarked that the robots attracted tourists, but weren’t economical.

“The robots can attract plenty of customers, but they definitely can’t reduce the need for human labour.”

- Rob Price.

Read: This expensive robot is modelled on a real-life movie star>

Read: Disney designed a robot car that can climb walls by itself>

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