Japan has a new cafe where customers can enjoy coffee brewed and served by a robot barista. The robot named Sawyer debuted last week at Henna Cafe in Tokyo’s downtown business and shopping district of Shibuya. The shop’s name in Japanese means “strange cafe.” The single-armed robot scans a ticket purchased from a vending machine and greets the customer. It grinds the coffee beans, fills a filter and pours hot water over a paper cup for up to five people at once. A cup of brewed coffee costs 320 yen ($3) and takes a few minutes. Sawyer can also operate an automated machine for six other hot drinks including cappuccino, hot chocolate and green tea latte. Only one person needs to oversee the robot cafe, compared to several people needed at a regular coffee shop, so it can serve better quality coffee at a reasonable price. “Would you care for a delicious coffee?” the barista, with a screen showing a pair of cartoon eyes, asks in a flat tone. “I can make one better than human beings around here.”; the cafe operator, travel agency H.I.S. Co., says robots can increase productivity while also entertaining customers.
(Source: Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press; Image: ctvnews.com)