In Taiwan, convenience store operator FamilyMart has set up a technology concept store in Taipei on the intersection of Chongqing South Road and Wuchang Street. It is the first convenience store in Taiwan to introduce a robotic arm-powered “coffee-making assistant.”
Customers place an order and pay at the checkout counter and are then given a receipt with a QR code, which they place in front of the robotic coffee assistant to be scanned. The robotic arm then starts to brew the coffee. If it runs out of coffee beans, milk or sugar, it emits an audio notification for staff to replenish the missing ingredients.
A convenience store coffee machine takes about 46 seconds to brew one medium sized cup of latte coffee, whereas a robotic arm takes only 30 seconds. During the entire process no assistance is required by store employees, which saves about one minute’s worth of service time for staff.
FamilyMart says that the concept store’s robotic coffee assistant makes approximately 200 cups of coffee every day, the majority of which are made during morning and afternoon rush hour. According to FamilyMart, the robot’s greatest asset is its ability to reduce the length of customer lines during peak periods.
Meanwhile, the popular restaurant chain Hai Di Lao Hot Pot, which operates on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, last month opened its first “smart restaurant” in Beijing.
After diners order at their table, an order number is created, and a robotic arm then springs into action behind the scenes and starts preparing ingredients. A conveyer belt sends the ingredients to a food delivery hatch at the customer’s table and, finally, another robot delivers the dish onto the table without the need of a human server. From start to finish, the whole process can take as little as two minutes.
Source: Taipei Times
Nina Lin (email@example.com)