A cafe has become one of the first in the world to deploy robots to serve beverages in an attempt to address the ongoing recruitment issue faced by the F&B industry.
Babo Arms in Taiwan, which serves a range of coffees, teas and snacks, spent two years looking for a suitable collaborative robot that would be able to take over repetitive and simple tasks.
It opted for the UR cobot developed by European firm Universal Robots due to their safety record and the ease of the installation and deployment process.
As a result of adoption of the new technology, staff working at the café will no longer have to memorise a mass of ingredients, with the robot helping staff make tea and drinks.
The cafe said the introduction of the robots ensured staff had more time to focus on the more creative aspects of the business, including new product development.
The collaborative aspect of the UR cobot has also proved beneficial in areas limited on space.
More traditional automated devices for production must be kept at a distance from workers and usually function in a closed off area, taking up space and not allowing for resources to be fully optimised.
The cobots are perfectly suited for simplistic, repetitive tasks and offer great flexibility as they can rotate 360-degrees, mimicking a human arm.
The right gripper allows for the cobot to carry out more monotonous work alongside employees, such as making tea, cleaning cups, tilting, grabbing and handing out drinks. Employees can therefore turn their attention away from these mundane tasks and towards time to interact with customers, taking on feedback and improving quality of service, according to the company.
Universal Robots was co-founded in 2005 by the company’s CTO, Esben Østergaard, who wanted to make robot technology accessible to all by developing small, user-friendly, reasonably priced, flexible industrial robots that are safe to work with.
Headquartered in Germany, the firm also has a North American office in Boston.