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. Maps

    Your Maps of Life Under Lockdown

    Stressful commutes, unexpected routines, and emergent wildlife appear in your homemade maps of life during the coronavirus pandemic.

  2. photo: an open-plan office
    Life

    Even the Pandemic Can’t Kill the Open-Plan Office

    Even before coronavirus, many workers hated the open-plan office. Now that shared work spaces are a public health risk, employers are rethinking office design.

  3. photo: The Pan-Am Worldport at JFK International Airport, built in 1960,
    Design

    Why Airports Die

    Expensive to build, hard to adapt to other uses, and now facing massive pandemic-related challenges, airport terminals often live short, difficult lives.

  4. Life

    When the Cruise Ships Stop Coming

    As coronavirus puts the cruise industry on hold, some popular ports are rethinking their relationship with the tourists and economic benefits the big ships bring.

  5. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

×