Dubai’s RoboCafe is a new restaurant where robots have replaced their human overlords
As people continue to practice social distancing to stem the spread of coronavirus, many people are staying away from restaurants to avoid human contact for fear of being infected with the deadly virus. Now, Dubai has found an innovative way of bringing people back to restaurants again. This time, you guessed it, using robots. Welcome to RoboCafe, Dubai’s first-ever cafe run fully by a staff of robots.
Dubai’s RoboCafe is located in a modern business and entertainment area of Dubai Festival City. The Cafe has quickly become a sensation as customers consider it a safer option to eat out amid the coronavirus pandemic. At Dubai’s RoboCafe, customers can place their orders with German-made robots, who then prepare and deliver them straight to their tables.
“It’s a good idea, especially right now,” said Emirati customer Jamal Ali Hassan, whose piping hot beverage was delivered with no spills. “Restaurant turnouts are low, so I would expect that this idea would be popular … You order online and the robot works in front of you and gets you whatever you want within minutes.”
According to Reuters, RoboCafe has been in the works for more than two years, but its launch was delayed from March 2020 due to the pandemic. It finally opened last June, when restrictions in the United Arab Emirates were relaxed.
The RoboCafe was created with support from Dubai’s government artificial intelligence initiative. Humans are only called upon when there are glitches, or to sanitize surfaces.
“The client orders from the [touch] screen here, then everything is reliant on artificial intelligence, [the robot] sorts out the orders by the table and places it on the small service bot, and the service bot delivers it to the customer,” said Executive Director, Rashid Essa Lootah.
The German-made robots make the drinks, while the fully autonomous delivery bots are designed and made in the UAE.
“I’m a bit of a tech nerd, so seeing the little robots, like the Roomba vacuum delivering food, and the different armatures — it’s like an assembly line in a car manufacturing plant,” said customer Vincent Marino.
Below are videos of RoboCafe in action.