A cafe in Minato-ku, Tokyo called Cafe Dawn has created an atmosphere where patrons are served by robots.
The robots are part of a remote workforce, controlled by people with disabilities from their homes. This gives them the ability to participate the service industry in a way they previously couldn’t.
Ten people with severe mobile disabilities work shifts remotely via a computer or tablet and control the OriHime-D avatar robots in the cafe, which allow them to communicate with their patrons and physically serve them via remote.
NHK World News reports:
Ory Laboratory Chief Executive Officer Kentaro Yoshifuji says he wants to send the message that people with disabilities can find useful employment.
The cafe will be open until December 7th. The laboratory and the foundation plan to upgrade the robots and open a permanent cafe in 2020 and hire more people with disabilities to work there.
The permanent cafe with upgraded robots is expected to be open in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Watch a video of the trial opening below.