The repurposed industrial robot serves drinks in is own corner of a Japanese pub operated by restaurant chain Yoronotaki. An attached tablet computer face smiles as it chats about the weather while preparing orders.
The robot, made by the company QBIT Robotics, can pour a beer in 40 seconds and mix a cocktail in a minute. It uses four cameras to monitors customers to analyze their expressions with artificial intelligence (AI) software.
“I like it because dealing with people can be a hassle. With this you can just come and get drunk,” Satoshi Harada, a restaurant worker said after ordering a drink.
“If they could make it a little quicker it would be even better.”
Finding workers, especially in Japan’s service sector, is set to get even more difficult.
The government has eased visa restrictions to attract more foreign workers but companies still face a labor shortage as the population shrinks and the number of people over 65 increases to more than a third of the total.