SoftBank Robotics recently opened a cafe in Shibuya, Japan staffed with humanoid robots. At Pepper PARLOR, a variety of robots work alongside humans, including the iconic Pepper. New robots are planned to debut in the future. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Mobile Robots and Drones in Material Handling and Logistics 2018-2038.
Robots will work with human staff to serve customers, offering fun services and entertainment. Customers will also be able to purchase Pepper PARLOR accessories, available only through the café. Pepper PARLOR is opened on December 5, 2019, in Tokyu Plaza Shibuya, a new commercial landmark in the popular Shibuya district located conveniently near the Shibuya station.
Not only will robots help take customer orders, they will also interact with customers at tables, take photos, and offer new, fun experiences throughout the parlor. Customers place orders through Pepper robots as they enter the cafe, the robots will also help customers decide what dessert to order based on the facial expression of a customer.
"We will be able to build know-how by managing the store on our own instead of relying on a partner business," said Director Kazutaka Hasumi. "That way we will be able to propose functions that companies want in robots." The cafe will double as a testing ground for the company's latest robots, testing their abilities in real-life situations. "There are many scenes where robots can help, be it delivering food to the table, or taking out garbage or educating others. We want to share the findings from here with our client companies," he said.
Peppers are also placed in the seating area and converse with customers or play games with them. SoftBank Robotics' Whiz robots do the cleaning after the cafe closes.
NAO robots will perform delicate, precisely choreographed dances. Other performances will take place throughout the day at special times.
Whiz, the AI cleaning robot, will rely on its self-driving technology to clean Pepper PARLOR after hours.
Source and images: SoftBank Robotics