Singapore’s flying waiter

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If they can get the safety issue sorted, it might just work indoors. We hope not to see a crashing quad indoors with hot soup and spinning propellers! crashing into children, slicing off anything….

More at http://www.infiniumrobotics.com/

From Straits Times

Air-flown dishes take on new meaning… with ‘flying servers’
Singapore |  Updated today at 01:12 AM
WHAT began as an interest in hobby helicopters has become an effort to improve productivity around the world – one restaurant at a time.
“There are increasing problems for restaurant owners in getting staff,” said Infinium Robotics’ chief executive Woon Junyang, 31.
“I can feel it myself as a customer, when you raise your hand and no one sees you, or your food arrives cold.”
So last year, Mr Woon founded a company to try to change that, by inventing robots that fly food and drinks straight to the table.
The “Flying Robotic Intelligent Servers” are controlled via a computer programme and are fully automated, meaning no one has to steer them as they make their rounds.
The company received a $250,000 grant from Spring Singapore and has filed a patent for the product.
It is demonstrating the system today to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the launch of National Productivity Month.
“We’re trying to break the mould and push the limits of what unmanned aerial vehicles can do,” said Mr Woon of his team of 11.
By reducing the need for waiters to run back and forth from the kitchen to the table, the robots free them up to focus on higher value tasks, such as chatting with customers and giving them food recommendations, he added.
An efficient system could also mean faster delivery of food, which means faster turnaround of tables and more ringing of tills.
Although he declined to disclose the cost, Mr Woon said he is in talks with several interested restaurant groups and is looking to test out the system in a restaurant setting soon.
People will slowly get used to their food miraculously appearing next to them, he said.
“We have the technology to do it, it’s also whether people can accept it.”
JOANNA SEOW

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