Café In Tokyo Uses Robot Waiters Controlled By Paralyzed People. Credit: Ory Lab
Health Technology

Café In Tokyo Uses Robot Waiters Controlled By Paralyzed People

Millions of paralyzed people around the world are unemployed. Thankfully, a Japanese start-up called Ory Lab came up with a solution to employ disabled people. The start-up developed OriHime-D robots, which are controlled remotely by paralyzed people. The scheme ran for a 2-week trial in a café in Tokyo, Japan.

Ten people with a variety of conditions that restricted their movements were controlling the robot waiters in the Dawn Ver café. The robots’ controllers got $9 per hour, which is the standard wage for waiters in Japan. Some of the human controllers involved were patients with a variety of severe conditions, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and spinal cord injuries.

A paralzed worker
Credit: Ory Lab
Café In Tokyo Uses Robot Waiters Controlled By Paralyzed People
Credit: Ory Lab

The OriHime-D robots were initially designed so that people with severely restricted movements can use them in their homes. Even if the operator cant move their arms and can only their eyes, they can still direct the movement of the robot, talk to customers, observe, and carry objects. The robots are controlled by a computer that tracks the eye movements of bed-bound people.

The CEO of Ory Lab, Kentaro Yoshifuji, said:

I want to create a world in which people who can’t move their bodies can work too.

The 2-week trial aims to test connections between the robots and disabled people, to help individuals who might otherwise be housebound earn some money and interact with other people more easily. Ory hopes the project will help disabled people gain independence.

Café In Tokyo Uses Robot Waiters Controlled By Paralyzed People
Credit: Ory Lab

Robot waiters aren’t an innovative concept in the technology world; three humanoid waiters called ‘Gingers’ are already being used in the Naulo restaurant in Nepal. However, Ory Lab has taken the concept to a whole new level.

The creators of the café are raising money through a crowdfunding campaign to open the Dawn Ver café permanently for 2020.

Cartoon of a cafe ran by robots
Credit: Ory Lab

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