A fast food restaurant in Pakistan has become the first eatery in the country to use a robot ‘waitress’ for serving the diners.
According to a PTI report: Pizza.com, located in the city of Multan in the Punjab province, is seeing unusual rush of customers after the local media reported about the robot serving food.
Dawn newspaper reported that the robot has been developed by pizzeria owner’s son, an electrical engineering graduate from National University of Science and Technology in Islamabad.
“Soon after the news of the robotic waitress spread, there is a long queue of customers outside the shop who want to dine here,” Owner, Pizza.com, Syed Aziz Ahmed Jafari was quoted by PTI as saying.
He said his son, Syed Osama Aziz, gave the unique idea of making a robotic waitress to give a boost to the business.
“My son was interested in going to the United States for further studies, but I asked him to do something for our country, particularly this city (Multan). I am also feeling proud as a Multani; we have left Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad behind,” Jafari was quoted by PTI as saying.
He said the people were coming to his pizzeria not only from Multan but even from the adjoining districts.
While Jafari was interested in introducing four more robotic waitresses, he said he would not reduce the number of human waiters as he did not want to make anybody jobless. He also urged the Government to come forward and help his son in improving this technology.
The robot is able to navigate to the customer’s table, greet the customer, serve the meal and come back to the counter, said Aziz, the developer.
Weighing 25 kilograms and capable of carrying up to five kilograms of food, the robot also detects and requests the obstacle in its way to give way.
“Much is needed to improve it. I took the basic idea from China where robots are working and serving in restaurants already,” he was quoted by PTI as saying.
“The female body shape is helping the machine to maintain the weight it is carrying. We have put a scarf in her neck to make clear that it is a female robot,” Aziz was quoted by PTI as saying.
He said that all the components, both electrical and mechanical, used in the machine were made in Pakistan.
He has also received calls from businessmen who expressed their interest in such machines, he said.
Aziz said at present the waitress was unable to take orders, but he would enhance her functionality.
“People are asking it to take orders. They don’t give orders until the machine comes to their table. Moreover, the robot doesn’t have a name as yet. But I am thinking to give her a name,” he was quoted by PTI as saying.