RESTAURANT CHAIN TRIALS ROBOT WAITERS FOR TABLE SERVICE

The smart robots deliver food to tables and provide on-demand services to diners

Diners at one of the UK locations of restaurant chain Bella Italia now have the opportunity to interact with a robot waiter named the BellaBot. Big eyes and a range of facial expressions make the service robot—designed by Chinese robot-maker Pudu Robotics—fun for customers while serving up a much more serious benefit for the human members of the staff team. The intelligent service robots manage multiple commands to safely deliver fresh-from-the-kitchen meals to the correct tables.

The robots are helping short-staffed teams manage their workloads by undertaking some of the more time-consuming tasks of a restaurant, including guiding diners to their table, delivering meals to multiple tables in one trip, and returning dirty dishes to the kitchen. BellaBots use 3D sensor technology and dual SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping) navigation to maintain a safe distance from people and objects.

And when in the middle of traveling across the restaurant to complete a task, the robots respond to signals from diners and other staff to complete additional requests. BellaBots are currently available in the restaurant chain’s Center Parcs Whinfell Forest location. The restaurant was chosen because of the distance between the kitchen and the dining room. The bots can also be programmed to deliver bespoke written messages to diners, and to sing Happy Birthday.

Robots are becoming increasingly useful, with Springwise spotting them 3D printing a hydroelectric power station, building modular, sustainable homes, and collecting seafloor litter.