Pixar's WALL-E Is Now Working at a Chinese Restaurant

Illustration for article titled Pixar's WALL-E Is Now Working at a Chinese Restaurant
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Nothing quite says a home cooked meal like a droid cooked one. If you ever find yourself in Harbin, China, head over to "Summer Sky Ocean Robot", a restaurant staffed with robot waiters and robot cooks.


We don't serve their kind here? No, they serve you!

According to reports out of Asia, the restaurant has robots that carry dumplings to patrons, robots that boil dumplings, robots that prep food, robots that set the tables, robots that welcome customers—and more. The door-greeting robot is called "Transformer". Clever.

Hey, there are robot cops on the streets of China—very, very simple robots. So why not?

The restaurant, which can seat 100 customers, has 18 robots of various height (from 1.3 meters to 1.6 meters), able to utter simple phrases, and make ten different facial expressions.

Sensors on the robots apparently keep them from bumping into patrons while setting the table and carrying food. They also software to monitor system failures, and when things do go south, there are engineers on hand to repair the bots.

Illustration for article titled Pixar's WALL-E Is Now Working at a Chinese Restaurant

And after the robots finish work, they have their own mealtime, which consists of recharging their batteries.


Sounds like...a pain in the ass. Ask any researcher who works with them, and they'll say robots are incredibly high maintenance. They break. A bunch. That's the last thing you want when trying to manage a restaurant.

Doing "simple" tasks, like shaking hands, can be incredibly complex. It's doubtful that these robots are completely automatous. The waiter bots are probably remote-controlled.


That isn't a dig on Chinese robotics, but rather, an honest assessment of what it's like to work with robots.

Unless these robots are doing very simple, very specific tasks, this story, which originated in China, sets off all sorts of b.s. alarms. It's just too good to be true. Baloney or not, glad to see WALL-E has found work. But surely he doesn't crush each meal into little blocks?


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Jonathan Ponikvar

Just noticed a small hiccup in the opening:

"We don't sever their kind here? No, they serve you!"


Unless the second one was intended to be "sever," in which case the inevitable robot world takeover just got a few steps closer.