A British chain of restaurants and tea rooms based in London has become the first in the UK and Europe to introduce a robotic waitress to serve its customers.
The Tea Terrace, which owns and operates four restaurants and tea rooms in Cobham, London and Guildford, has launched the £18,000 ‘Theresa’ the robotic waitress at its newest brand in Oakdene Parade in Cobham, Surrey.
The robot’s name pays homage to former Prime Minister Theresa May with more robots in the pipeline to be rolled out to more Tea Terrace locations in the future if successful.
The Tea Terrace, which became the first restaurant to introduce the Selfieccino – a cappuccino with your selfie printed on it using edible food colouring – is the first restaurant in Europe and the UK to introduce the advanced robot which can communicate with customers.
Ehab shouly, managing director of The Tea Terrace, said: “Theresa represents the 6th Generation of robotic waitresses which were first launched in Japan a few years ago. The robot comes with autonomous navigation; automatic obstacle avoidance, voice conversation, and automatic dish delivery. It integrates core technologies in automatic control, multi-sensor perceptual collision avoidance and route planning.”
Theresa comes with a double-tray which reduces waiters’ repeat work such as food and drink delivery and carrying heavy trays of drinks such as teapots.
“We don’t plan to replace our staff with robots entirely. But the idea is to help them and to make their job easier,” said Shouly.
The robot not only delivers the dish or the drink to the table, but also speaks to the customers and tells them what she is serving.
She then asks them to tap its arms so that she can go back to her base to serve other customers.
The robot’s face comes with LED Dot Matrix which allows it to show diverse facial expressions by flashing its eyes and either smiling or frowning.
Theresa the robot runs 365 days a year and its battery requires charging over-night every other day.