This Tokyo café is run by robot servers operated by paralyzed patients from home

For once I do not fear our planet being captured by robots and all the jazz surrounding artificial intelligence. In proving that technology can do some good to humankind, we now have a unique pop-up café in Tokyo that will use robot servers in place of actual human waiters. The good part though: the man-made machines will be operated by paralyzed people from the comforts of their home.

The Dawn Café (inspired by the fictional cafe from the 2008 sci-fi anime series Time of Eve), is currently a beta project and is expected to open doors to the public soon. A joint association between NPO Nippon Foundation and the airline ANA, the unique café is conceptualized in collaboration. with robotics startup Ory, which built the OriHime-D – a 4-foot-tall (120 centimeters) robot to be operated remotely for the café. The ingenious robot comes with built-in cameras and speakers so that its human operators can hear and see exactly what the robots hear and see in a live environment.

It can further be controlled by people who are paralyzed due to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), spinal-cord injuries and other debilitating conditions with the help of the internet from home. Even those severely affected by ALS or other limiting ailments will be able to operate the OriHime-D, that can easily be commanded to talk to customers and pick up objects like coffee cups. While the Dawn Café will initially open for just two weeks, we can expect to permanently walk into the place by 2020.

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A lawyer with a zeal for writing, Ekta has a deep love for linguistics, travel, and philosophy. Not an adrenalin junkie but likes going on occasional hikes to beat the weekday blues. Her bucket list includes escapades to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Morocco.