We are on a mission at The Spoon to chronicle the rise of food robots as they pop up all over the world. Today, we spin our globe and land on Dubai, where a fully robotic cafe has been serving up drinks and delivery robots will soon be roaming the sidewalks.
Reuters has a story up this week about the Robo Cafe in Dubai, which, is exactly what you think it is: a fully autonomous eatery. The Robo Cafe has actually been in business since last year, and uses four different robots to pour drinks, grab food and bring all items to your table.
Located in what appears to be a shopping mall, the Robo Cafe has a barista bot to create coffee drinks, a bartender bot to make mocktails and juices, a food bot that grabs pastries and other prepared foods, and a cadre of waiter bots. Customers place orders via a touchscreen on the counter and the appropriate bot fulfills the order. Food and drinks are place on a waiter bot, which is a large, squat puck, which autonomously carries the the order to the customer. No humans needed (unless something breaks down).
Unlike the big robot restaurant complex run by Country Garden in China, the Robo Cafe is much smaller and appears to have more of a relaxed feel. The whole cafe is out in the open (no walls) and instead of tables, people belly up to a counter to order and enjoy their food and drink.
Later this year, however, customers may not even need to sit at the counter to enjoy their Robo Cafe coffee. The Khaleej Times reports that robot delivery startup, Delivers AI will start trialing its service in Dubai in Q3 of this year.
Delivers AI, is among the cohort of current startups using autonomous, cooler-sized robots to make food deliveries. The company, which is relatively young, is currently making deliveries in Istanbul, Turkey.
The pandemic has accelerated interest in robotics because of their contactless nature. With no humans working in the Robo Cafe, there is no human-to-human viral transmission. Same goes for those little delivery robots.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out my recent Delivery Robot Market Report that I wrote for our Spoon Plus subscription service. It outlines the key players in operation all over the world as well as their challenges and opportunities.