This droid waiter works 8-hour shifts and doesn't expect a tip
Would you eat in a restaurant with a robot waiter? This droid works 8-hour shifts and doesn't expect a tip
15:21, 17 MAR 2016 UPDATED 17:28, 17 MAR 2016
BY JEFF PARSONS
A restaurant has used a battery-powered robot to serve food and drink to punters - but experts warn of 'inevitable' jobs threat
A battery-powered robot serves dishes up to 8 hour a day in a restaurant in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province
How would you feel about being served food by a robot ?
One restaurant in China has done exactly that - swapping a human waiter for a 140cm-tall robot counterpart.
Using a battery, the robot is capable of serving diners at a restaurant in Shenyang, capital city of China's Liaoning Province, for up to eight hours.
The robot takes customers their food and drinks and, thanks to a mix of sensors and navigation hardware, is able to avoid spilling anything.
It can carry up to 7kg of food or drink at one time and, better yet, doesn't require wages - or even a tip.
Good for restaurant owners, but not for anyone looking for a job in the catering industry.
Thankfully, tech experts reckon it'll take a while for robot waiters to replace a human face.
"I think there are several generations of development yet before the physical world of humans is replaced with cyber alternatives," Mark Skilton, from Warwick Business School told Mirror Online.
"But it is right to consider the ethical and economic repercussions of this inevitable technological scaling of computing," he said.
In January, the World Economic Forum estimated that 7.1 million jobs could be lost in the future thanks to redundancy from technology.
They did say that would be offset by 2.1 million jobs created in specialised areas such as maths, computing and enginnering.
But even lofty white-collar jobs might be under threat - not from robots but from artificial intelligence (AI).
"[AI] could potentially see complex jobs that were once thought untouchable taken over by computers thanks to emerging creative mathematical research and advanced massive scale supercomputing to model human brain function," explained Mr Skilton, who spent 30 years as an IT strategy consultant.
Those in favour of automated workforces point to the benefits for mass production as well as increased leisure time for all of us.
But according to Mr Skilton, measures need to be taken now to make sure that robots are a help not a hindrance to the workforce.
"Putting in place controls now could well help economies make sure robots and computers add growth rather than destroy jobs."