We’ve always dealt robots with either of the two reactions. You either look at them in awe, ogle at them rather and let them totally captivate your imagination. That or, just look down upon them. For good reason. We believe robots will one day take over our jobs. And render humankind near-useless.
Well, not at all times. In this case, robots have come to enable bed-ridden and severely-disabled citizens to work a job themselves. What a positive blast from the past this is.
A pretty little cafe in Tokyo, Japan (of course, where else?) is house to robots as its waiters. The DAWN – Diverse Avatar Working Network – Cafe is staffed by OriHime-D robots – which in turn are developed by Japan-based OryLaboratory. These robots, at a little less than four feet in height, come with a camera, microphone and speaker. Good to go as far as taking down orders from customers go and with 14 joint points, are good to carry trays and serve drinks too.
These robots are operated remotely by individuals sitting miles away for all it matters. These individuals are typically those who for medical reasons aren’t able to travel to the workplace themselves. Examples include those diagnosed with ALS. Such people can stay at home and control the robot using nothing but their eyeballs.
These robots however haven’t made their debut appearance at the restaurant. Past examples include an instance where a teacher diagnosed with ALS made his presence felt in school, through the Ori robot.
Some silver lining to the gloom, right? As long as the Samaritan lives on.