image credit: Jayan Orma
Qatar is known for its futuristic skyscrapers and ultramodern architecture. But it might soon be known for something else. The Middle Eastern country recently employed its first robot waitress.
Meet Emy. She’s a robot waitress working at the popular Canaan Gardens located at the Hyatt Plaza in Doha. The robot was made in China specifically for the restaurant. Its real name is “Amy-Trackless Robot Waiter” and it comes from the Suzhou City-based Pangolin Robot Company.
The robot stands 5 feet tall and weighs 120 pounds. It can work for about 10 hours before it needs to be charged. Onboard sensors help it to navigate the spacious restaurant, avoid obstacles and deliver orders to the correct table. The robot can work autonomously or be controlled remotely.
Robot Waitress Can Play Video and Audio
When an order is ready, staff will place the food on her tray and she will bring it to the designated table. Once the customer has received their order, they simply touch Emy on the hand to make her return to her station.
Emy speaks both English and Arabic. It can play videos, display the menu or even run advertising on its 8-inch screen. A USB port allows staff to easily transfer files to the robot.
“The robot has a USB port. We can play and record whatever audio or video we want. Recently, we had a birthday party. We downloaded some birthday songs and she sang the song for the children.” said Ibrahim Quttan, who is in charge of the restaurant.
Emy Has Helped Attract Customers
The restaurant management prefers Emy to serve appetizers and desserts as she moves slow compared to other waiters. But the robot isn’t really there for her server skills as the novelty has helped bring customers into the restaurant. She’s especially popular with children.
“I took the initiative mainly to attract visitors. She has done the best for us. She has managed to pull customers. Last week, we had an event called ‘Little Chef’ when kids cooked their pizzas. The kids really enjoyed the event with Emy.” said Quttan, a 9-year industry vet “The robots are invading the market rapidly. People are trying to take advantage of the technology. The trend will soon find its feet in Qatar.”