A restaurant in Kunshan, just outside of Shanghai, is using robots to cook and serve food as well as communicate with customers through short, pre-programmed phrases. They also went all fancy and installed a robototic maître d' as well as separate robots for taking orders.
This is not an entirely new set-up, however. Robot themed restaurants have been setting up shop across China since early 2012. A restaurant in Jinan used beautiful "female robots" to welcome, serve and clean up after its patrons.
In Harbin, the Hohai restaurant uses 20 robots with the same mental capacity as a 3-4-year-old child, except much better behaved. They greet diners by saying, "Greetings, earthling. Welcome to the robot restaurant."
They also do all the cooking. Ta-daa!
Cranking the customer service up a notch, diners at Hohai (aka the "Robot Restaurant") are also entertained by singing robots while they eat. What tops it all though is that they also have a robot modeled on Pixar's Wall-E.
These little mechanical men don't come cheap though: they range from RMB40,000 to RMB300,000. They are efficient, however, with a two hour battery charge they can work continuously for five hours. Plus, they've got 10 different facial expressions!
Japan, unsurprisingly, is way ahead of everyone on this front, though. Whacking the bore out of regular sushi-eating, Tokyo's US$127 million Robot Restaurant boasts live robot shows with laser beams, robo-cabaret, geisha-bots and robot wars with bikini-clad girls piloting Amazonian mecha.
Way to make Kunshan's awesome new robot restaurant look lame, Japan. Geez.