Guests visiting popular Limerick eatery, Jasmine Palace, will get an unusual welcome as they are greeted by first robot waitress. The robot’s name is BellaBot or “Bella”. Bella is part of a new wave of technology gracing the Irish hospitality industry. “We got a demo and we’ve kept her ever since. It’s too handy to have,” according to restaurant manager Jeffrey Tse.
“Customers, especially younger kids, love robots. It’s like a new toy in Jasmine Palace.”
Bella is programmed to aid staff with labour-intensive and repetitive work. “Instead of a human carrying six bottles at a time, she can carry thirty bottles at a time,” said Tse. The feedback has been “positive” so far from customers, and staff who are happy of the helping hand. Bella has created quite the buzz, as customers take “photographs” and test the robots capabilities by “standing in front of her to see what she can do”.
Could robots replace humans?
When asked could robots replace humans in the hospitality industry, Mr Tse said: “I can’t see us doing that in our restaurant. “We still want our customer care, which is our main priority.” “It’s more of a durability test now on the machine.”
With every new hardware or software that we get in, be it a computer or a music system – if you are not familiar with the product previously, you need to take some time to make sure it does live up to expectations,” he added.
Bellabot is the latest delivery robot designed by Shenzhen-based robotic company Pudu. “Reliability would be the main concern right now with these robots,” he said. Pudu Robotics has developed top-of-the-line delivery robots and disinfection robots widely used in restaurants, hospitals and schools, as stated on their website.