- China has widened the use of robots to reduce human-to-human contact during the 2022 Olympics.
- Hotels have cleaning robots, mask-nagging robots, and delivery robots.
- Restaurants, meanwhile, have robots that can cook, deliver food to a table, and even serve cocktails.
As a way to reduce human-to-human contact during the 2022 Olympics, China has employed robots for almost every task imaginable.
The robots sport painted-on masks and cheery designs to make them seem charming and inoffensive.
There are cleaning robots that spray disinfectant in hotel lobbies and mask-nagging robots that remind guests to wear their masks properly. There are even fry-cooking robots and bartender robots!
Much of the cafeteria in the Games’ Main Media Center has been automated.
The organizers made use of a complex system of tracks and cards, so that dishes can be served in covered plates that descend from the ceiling to the table.
There’s a large white mechanical arm that flips baskets of fries, while a conveyor belt assembles burgers.
Diners will have to wait up to about 40 minutes to be served by a robot. They can also get the same food by heading to another section of the cafeteria and asking one of the human workers who are fully decked in hazmat suits.
The cafeteria bears signs that forbid photography or video, but you could still see several people with their phones and cameras raised without being apprehended.
A typical meal, such as a burger and fries, costs about 50 yuan (just below $8).
The most popular robot is the Robot Bartender, which is only available during the evening. This flexible mechanical arm can mix complicated drinks such as the Screwdriver rapidly and effectively, but don’t expect any barside banter and advice from it.
While the food is not extraordinary when it comes to taste or presentation, the whole experience definitely is.