A London fast food chain tests out its new robotic wait staff, to somewhat disastrous results.

Drones already deliver pizza, beer, tacos, and burritos. Why not rice burgers too?

UK-based Yo! Sushi, a Japanese fast food chain, is known for its embrace of efficiency, using the Japanese style 'kaiten' conveyor belt to serve sushi. Its newest attempt at automation comes in the form of a drone, operated by employees via iPad.

The drone has two cameras built into it, allowing the controller behind the iPad to guide the food to patrons safely and efficiently. Or at least that's the intention.

Harry Wollop of the Telegraph was unimpressed with his experience, writing yesterday, "if this is the future, then it comes with very large dry cleaning bills. And cold burgers." The third attempt to deliver his food resulted in the food getting caught in an updraft, slicing through the blades of the device and "causing carbohydrate shrapnel to go flying in all directions." 

According to the Guardian, the restaurant's drone is being tested outside with "polystyrene food and prawn crackers." Human servers need more training as drone operators, with one of Yo! Sushi's servers struggling to initially get it off the ground or controlling it once airborne (see video here). As reported yesterday by Homa Khaleeli of the Guardian:

Instead of flying serenely in front of him and landing gently on the table, the machine drunkenly lurches around at knee height, crashing into camera tripods and chairs or just the ground, as the pilot mutters darkly about the wind factor and low batteries. Its rotor blades are said to be powerful enough to speed it along at 20mph, at a range of 50m, but they also mean that when the tray tilts and the prawn crackers fall out they are chopped and sprayed through the area.

As it heads dangerously close to the road, and passers-by swerve out of the way, I am told that it worked perfectly in the workshop.

Below, via Reuters, less traumatic images of the test run in London:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. An aerial photo of downtown Miami.
    Life

    The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

    Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

  2. Transportation

    When a Transit Agency Becomes a Suburban Developer

    The largest transit agency in the U.S. is building a mixed-use development next to a commuter rail station north of Manhattan.

  3. a photo of a BYD-built electric bus.
    Transportation

    A Car-Centric City Makes a Bid for a Better Bus System

    Indianapolis is set to unveil a potentially transformative all-electric bus rapid transit line, along with a host of major public transportation upgrades.

  4. a map of London Uber driver James Farrar's trip data.
    Transportation

    For Ride-Hailing Drivers, Data Is Power

    Uber drivers in Europe and the U.S. are fighting for access to their personal data. Whoever wins the lawsuit could get to reframe the terms of the gig economy.

  5. a photo of a woman on an electric scooter
    Design

    A Bad New Argument Against Scooters: Historic Inappropriateness

    The argument over whether electric scooters belong in Old Town Alexandria reflects an age-old rationalization against change.

×