Yes, you read the title right. A future similar to that of Blade Runner might actually be happening sooner than we think. SoftBank Robotics recently opened the Pepper Parlor, a cafe that has three robot workers alongside their human co-workers. The company told ZDNet:
“[The] aim is to create a space where people can easily experience the coexistence of people and robots and enjoy the evolution of robots and the future of living with robots,” the company went on to say: “We want to make robots not only for convenience and efficiency but also to expand the possibilities of people and bring happiness.”
Of the three robots created by SoftBank, the robot Pepper is certainly the highlight of the cafe. Pepper spends the most time out of the three robots interacting with customers in a human-like way.
Meanwhile, the other robots spend their time dancing and playing music to entertain guests. Then, once the cafe is closed, the vacuum robot whiz goes around the cafe to clean up.
However, SoftBank didn’t just create a robot cafe for fun or to demonstrate what the future might look like, but they did it primarily to see how they can make their robots better for clients.
SoftBank’s Chief Creative Officer, Kazutaka Hasumi, told The Asian Review:
“We will be able to build know-how by managing the store on our own instead of relying on a partner business,” Hasumi went on to say: “That way we will be able to propose functions that companies want in robots.”
Either way, a robot cafe sounds like a fun trip for anyone, but hopefully, the food is good too.