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Robot Cat Serving Food

Step into the Hamikawa restaurant in Otaru, Hokkaido, and you might find yourself greeted by an unexpected server: a cat-like robot delivering your food with a touch of whimsy. This innovative solution comes as the restaurant grapples with labor shortages and seeks to enhance safety measures amidst the ongoing pandemic.

Operated by Sapporo-based Anist, the robot cat, designed by the Chinese firm Pudu, has been charming customers since its debut on December 28. Standing at 129 cm tall with a diameter of approximately 57 cm, the robotic feline autonomously navigates the restaurant floor, delivering up to four trays to designated tables. Sporting a cute touchpad emoji as its face, the robot cat adds a delightful touch to the dining experience.

Equipped with advanced sensors, the robot cat adeptly maneuvers around obstacles, ensuring smooth and efficient service. Its interactive interface engages patrons with playful phrases like "Meow, let me pass," adding an element of charm to the dining atmosphere.

Yoshiaki Matsushiro, the Otaru store manager, highlights the dual benefits of employing the robot cat. Not only does it alleviate the workload on restaurant staff, but it also minimizes direct contact between employees and customers, thus contributing to enhanced safety protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Customer response to the robot cat has been overwhelmingly positive, with many patrons expressing delight at being served by the adorable mechanical feline. Some customers even capture videos of their unique dining experience, showcasing the seamless integration of technology into the hospitality industry.

As restaurants continue to innovate to meet the evolving needs of diners, the introduction of robotic servers like the cat-like robot at Hamikawa restaurant exemplifies the fusion of culinary tradition with cutting-edge automation, promising a dining experience that is both delightful and efficient.

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