Softbank’s Dancing Robot Cafe Opens in Tokyo

At this point, robot restaurants and cafés are nothing new. Normally a food establishment will bring in robots in an attempt to improve efficiency or create some buzz. A new café in Tokyo is changing things up a bit.  This time it’s a robotics company opening up a restaurant.

It’s called the Pepper Parlor and comes from Softbank Robotics. Located at the Tokyu Plaza Shibuya, this cafe has robots taking orders, serving the food, cleaning, and entertaining the customers.

Pepper Takes Orders at Robot Cafe

10 Pepper robots take and deliver food orders. They’ll interact with customers, conversing and even taking a photo if desired. Of course, Softbank’s Pepper is pretty well known at this point. The bot has been seen working in banks, hotels, restaurants, ice cream parlors, and even funerals.

Robot Cafe Pepper Parlor Tokyo - YellRobot
credit: Softbank Robotics

NAO Humanoid Robots Perform Dance Routines

While customers are enjoying their meal, another group of robots will provide some entertainment. NAO humanoid robots will perform “delicate, precisely choreographed dances” throughout the day. These bots were developed by French-based  Aldebaran Robotics. The company is owned by Softbank.

Robot Cafe Pepper Parlor Tokyo - YellRobot
credit: Softbank Robotics

Whiz Robots Clean the Floors

Of course, the place needs to be kept clean. After the café closes for the day, the autonomous floor and carpet cleaning robot Whiz will make sure the space is spotless.

Onboard sensors help Softbank’s Whiz navigate the cafe and avoid obstacles. It will also give in-depth reports on each cleaning session. Whiz will even improve it’s performance over time as the robot uses machine learning to collect data and pick up new skills.

Robot Cafe Pepper Parlor Tokyo - YellRobot
credit: Softbank Robotics

Pepper Parlor Menu Created by Chef Fumio Yonezawa

Okay, we know what you are saying. Another robot cafe? While Pepper Parlor is a place to showcase Softbank’s technology, we wouldn’t disregard the food. The café includes an original menu designed by award-winning chef Fumio Yonezawa. It’s highlighted by a wide selection of gourmet waffles created with five different types of dough.

The café also houses a small shop that sells pepper robot-themed merchandise and food such as designer chocolates and coffee beans. Pepper Parlor is open from 10 AM to 9 PM. More robots are planned to join the cafe staff in the future.

Check out our articles on robots making smoothies in a mobile restaurant and autonomous construction equipment.