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The robots are taking over

TAL-Robo-Cafe-IMG_3556

The robots are taking over

Not every coffee shop on your local high street has yet given their barista’s the big heave ho\u2026not yet anyway.

Robots are taking over the traditional labour intensive jobs that were once performed by humans on low wages and serving coffee and tea could be the next vocation to go to the robots if developments in Vietnam are anything to go by. Oh, and by the way, we are not talking about Cyborg’s like Arnie’s T-1000 in the Terminator here the robots are much friendlier than that particular killing machine from the future.

In fact it’s even considered ‘cute’ by some of the clientele and its name is Mortar. Okay, so in English Mortar could be a weapon, but the only offensive weaponry this machine has is its speedy delivery of coffee and other beverages in the aptly named Robo Café in Hanoi. Programmed with a selection of voice clips, Mortar is the work of two men Nguyen Quoc Phi and electrical engineer Do Trung Thanh. His shiny shell was made using 3D printer technology and was inspired by similar robots working the café scene in Japan.

It is said that Mortar lacks a certain, shall we say, charm and interacts with clients a touch more awkwardly than his human counterpart but say his inventors all it’ll take is a few keystrokes and a bit of reprogramming and he’ll be as good as any human barista.

Sadly for most western eyes, Mortar looks like something out of a 1950’s sci fi B movie classic and has to follow aluminium strips taped to the floor of the café and he also relies on his human colleagues to load his tray and also to use his iPad interface. Mortar also moves at the slowest pace of a surly waitress or waiter.

Okay, so Mortar may not be the finished product just yet, but could be a foretaste of what is to come.

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