NEW YORK - First, they started cooking your food, now they might be delivering it to your table.
A South Korea restaurant has started using an AI-powered robot food server.
A Seoul location of Mad for Garlic, a major nationwide restaurant chain is now using the robot. It is equipped with software that features 3D spatial mapping and self-driving.
The programming, developed by KT's Institute of Convergence Technology, enables the smart robot to maneuver between and around tables and chairs to serve customers ordering food at the restaurant.
The telecom company is developing various AI robots as part of its efforts to transform itself. It previously started offering AI-assisted room services at Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences, owned by its subsidiary, KT Real Estate Inc., in 2018.
"KT is bringing AI closer to the lives of our customers with the release of its first hotel robots last year, second-generation hotel robots this year, and now a new AI serving robot developed for the food and beverage business area," said Kim Chae-Hee, head of KT's AI/Big Data business division.
The company that owns the Italian bistro chain says it expects food-serving robots will be a welcome way to reduce person-to-person contact amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The robots also would help give restaurant employees more time to tend to specific customer needs, boosting their efficiency and productivity.
The battery-powered AI robot server is about 4-feet tall and 20-inches wide. The design emphasizes stability as the robot moves at up to 5 feet per second carrying four fully loaded trays.
It claims it has little vibration when stopping to prevent spills.
The chain is expected to develop various customer scenarios during the pilot service and study the possibility of nationwide deployment of the next AI-equipped restaurant robot that KT is developing.
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. Download for FREE!