Flying robots to start serving in restaurants by end-2015

Flying robots to start serving in restaurants by end-2015
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong observes a smart flying robotic waiter serving food during a demonstration at Singapore’s National Productivity Month 2014 Launch Event at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, Oct 7, 2014. Photo: Ooi Boon Keong
Published: 1:14 PM, November 27, 2014

SINGAPORE — Restaurant-goers can expect to be served by autonomous flying robots — a world’s first commercial attempt — by the end of the next year.

Infinium Robotics Pte Ltd chief executive officer Woon Junyang signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Edward Chia, managing director of Timbre Group, on Oct 31 this year.

Infinium-Serve, the autonomous flying robotic waiters, will be first launched at one of Timbre Group’s five outlets in Singapore. Mr Woon estimated the project cost to be a “low seven-figure sum” for the five outlets, but subjected to final negotiations and certain variables of the actual deployment of the robots.

Both Infinium Robotics and the Timbre Group are seeking productivity-related government grants to help offset deployment costs.

Singapore is facing a labour crunch and Mr Woon is confident that such robotic solutions will help alleviate the problem. He said that introducing this technology into restaurants would take away mundane tasks of serving food and drinks and allow human waiters to focus on higher-value tasks such as getting feedback from customers.

“This will result in an enhanced fining experience which will eventually lead to increased sales and revenue for the restaurants,” said Mr Woon.

A prototype of Infinium-Serve was showcased to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the inaugural launch of the National Productivity Month in early October this year.