Singapore to get robot waiters … and they fly!
By Digital News Asia November 28, 2014
- First of five restaurants to start deployment at the end of 2015
- Has swarming capabilities – can fly in multiple formations without colliding
SINGAPORE’S Timbre Group Pte Ltd’s five outlets will be the first restaurants in the world to deploy Infinium-Serve flying robotic waiters.
In a statement, Infinium Robotics Pte Ltd, which developed the smart robots, said it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Timbre on Oct 31.
The first robots will start ‘work’ at the first outlet by the end of next year, and eventually cover all five outlets Timbre has in Singapore: Timbre @ The Substation, Timbre @ The Arts House, Timbre @ Gillman, Switch and Barber Shop.
Infinium Robotics chief executive officer Woon Junyang said introducing this technology to restaurants would take away the mundane tasks of serving food and drinks to customers at the table so humans could focus on higher-value tasks, such as getting feedback from customers or highlighting new menu items or promotional dishes.
“With Infinium-Serve taking care of the actual serving, human waiters will be able to devote time and attention to actually servicing the customer. This will result in an enhanced dining experience which would eventually lead to increased sales and revenue for the restaurants,” he declared.
Woon (pic) said that since signing the MoU, initial surveys and an assessment of the infrastructure requirements have been completed. He estimated the project cost to be a “low seven-figure sum” for the five outlets, subject to final negotiations and certain variables of the actual deployment and commissioning of the robots.
Both Timbre and Infinium Robotics are exploring productivity-related government grants to defray the costs of deployment.
Woon said that Infinium-Serve robots were autonomous, meaning that they would be able to fly and serve without any manual intervention from humans, thereby automating certain processes and improving productivity.
“These robots have swarming capabilities, meaning that they can fly in multiple formations, like birds, without colliding. They can also avoid stationary or moving obstacles so it’s safe for people to walk around the restaurant.
“We integrate intelligent flying robots into everyday lives, so what better way than in a restaurant setting which is part of our daily lives?” he added.
Privately-held Infinium Robotics, founded in 2013 as part of the Woon Technology Group, said its autonomous flying robots designed specifically for the food and beverage sector were showcased at the launch of National Productivity Month in October.
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