A coffee shop that is completely operated by robots usually leads to common jokes about the earth being taken over by robots. However, there is a cafe in Japan that uses robots not just for novelty. The robots there make a difference. Humans with physical defects such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) operate robots from remote areas. The person operating the robot is called the “pilot”. They can use a mouse, iPad, or gaze-controlled remote control to control a robot in a wheelchair or on a bed.
The Tokyo-based cafe DAWN is an acronym for Diverse Avatar Working Network, and won this year’s Good Design Awards for its business model that helps people with disabilities, care for children, or other restrictions that make them unable to work. Engage in formal work.
The jury praised the cafe’s efforts to “developing another self-robot” and expressed their hope that the cafe “becomes a starting point for further expansion of contact between various disabled people, companies and consumers who want to work.” “.
Kentaro Yoshifuji, CEO of Ory Laboratory, the technology startup behind the cafe, wrote on DAWN’s website that they refer to these “disabled people as’bedridden veterans'”. Yoshifuji added that the purpose of this cafe is to “create and share opportunities for those who want to work but cannot work due to their medical or physical conditions”, by using “technology as a means to reduce obstacles to work. Many obstacles”. Equal participation in society”.
On its official YouTube channel, Ory Laboratory also shared a video about a model where bedridden people can interact with others and play meaningful roles.
Watch the video here:
In 2018, DAWN started operating a pop-up cafe. The four-foot-tall robot is called OriHime-D. Yoshifuji was inspired after being bedridden and unable to go to school due to medical problems and created a remote-controlled robot avatar.
In the cafe, robots are everywhere. When people walk in, they will be welcomed by the OriHime robot. Soon, another robot will recommend popular items on the menu, such as burgers. They take orders, provide food, and even clean the tables. Each robot has a built-in camera, microphone and speaker. In addition to cafes, robots also serve as guides in department stores, transportation stations, and company offices across Japan.
In 2018, a report entitled “The Rise of Robots” published by the International Monetary Fund listed Japan as “in terms of robot density, the world’s most integrated economy with robots.” According to the report, in the manufacturing industry, each worker owns three robots.