Later this month, ramen chain Kourakuen in Fukushima will begin trialing robot waiters to bring patrons hot, steaming bowls of ramen.
Called K-1, the robot is supposed to help with social distancing in the age of covid-19, offering contactless service and reducing the burden on restaurant staff.
K-1 is outfitted with voice guidance as well as a sensor to avoid bumping into objects and people while bringing ramen to hungry customers.
According to Kourakuen, the goal is to save labor, which during a pandemic might offer more safety. However, surely I’m not the only one to worry that in the future increased automation like this will mean fewer jobs?