Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Tokyo cafe lets homebound operate robot waitstaff

Oct 17. 2019
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By The Japan News/ANN

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A cafe has opened in Tokyo for a limited time in which people who have difficulty going out can serve customers by remotely controlling robots from their homes.

A cafe has opened in Tokyo for a limited time in which people who have difficulty going out can serve customers by remotely controlling robots from their homes.

 The purpose is to expand the possibilities of social participation by those who are homebound due to serious illnesses. The cafe will be open through Oct. 23. This is the second such cafe since the inaugural event, which ran between November and December last year.

 On Oct. 7, the first day, the robots were operated by 30 men and women aged between 17 and 58 who live in Japan and abroad. Inside the cafe on the first floor of the Otemon Tower JX Building in the Otemachi district, the OriHime-D robots measuring 1.2 meters tall each smoothly carried drinks around the space.

 Servers also enjoyed talking with customers using a microphone function, saying things like, “I want to be a volunteer at the Tokyo Games,” and “Check out my Twitter account.”

 Masato Nagahiro, 26, who suffers from a serious disease in which his muscles have degenerated, took part for the second time. “Last time, I became sick so someone else took over. I want to do my best by having us help each other this time, too,” he said.

 Tickets are sold out, but if there are cancellations, same-day tickets will be sold.

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