People with paralysis control robot waiters in Tokyo cafe

Robot waiters working at Dawn Cafe in Tokyo are operated remotely by people who are paralyzed.


PR Times

Not every robot is after your job. Some robots are helping humans earn money, at least temporarily. 

In this case, the robots serving humans at Dawn Cafe in Tokyo are remotely controlled by people who are paralyzed due to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), spinal-cord injuries and other debilitating conditions, the SoraNews24 site reports. The pop-up cafe is a beta project that will be open to the public through Dec. 7.

OriHime-D, developed by robotics startup Ory, is a 4-foot-tall (120 centimeter) robot that can be operated remotely. The robots have built-in cameras and speakers so their human operators hear and see what the robots hear and see. 

The controllers command the OriHime-D robots via the internet to move, talk to customers and pick up objects like coffee cups. 

Even people with ALS who may be unable to speak can move their eyes to type messages using special software that will be spoken by the robot. This allows the robot to chat with customers and take orders. 

Dawn Cafe, which is completely run by OriHime-D robot waitstaff, was created as a collaboration among Ory, NPO Nippon Foundation and the airline ANA.

The cafe is designed to look like the fictional cafe from the 2008 sci-fi anime series Time of Eve.

The Time of Eve series tells the story of humans and androids who treat one another as equals while inside a unique cafe.

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