Do you feel uncomfortable about the prospect of a future in which restaurants are run by robots? What if your server was a (robotic) cat?
Shenzhen-based brand Pudu envision a world in which the food service industry is run by cats — and we’re not sure how to feel about it.
The company took to the CES floor this week to show off BellaBot — a robotic waiter with a disarmingly adorable face.
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BellaBot is designed to deliver plates of food from table to table and collect empty dishes without restaurant workers lifting a finger.
Well, that’s not entirely true. One person is needed to key in the table number and to send BellaBot on its way but once BellaBot knows where it’s going, the robotic feline can take over.
BellaBot knows how to weave around objects thanks to Pudu’s Slam technology, while the wheels feature an interlinked suspension, allowing them to adapt to rough floors and surfaces, making sure it doesn’t trip and drop your dinner.
The intelligent tray knows when you pick up your food so the waiter can turn around and move on to the next table.
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Pudu even told Trusted Reviews that the BellaBot has touch feedback and smart expressions, meaning if you touch the robot it will know.
Touch BellaBot once or twice and it will be surprised and curious, touch it too many times and BellaBot will get upset with you (and you’ll see that annoyance written all over the cat’s face).
With a battery that takes just four hours to charge for a weeks work, BellaBot could be the adorable new face of food service.
And, while it’s still difficult to see past BellaBot’s metal exterior, the cat face does make the prospect of everyday robots seem slightly less sci-fi-scary. Slightly.