It is difficult for people with severe physical disabilities to find work. But now a pop-up cafe in Tokyo’s Akasaka district will give them a chance to be waiters — by remote control.
The cafe will deploy OriHime-D robots. They will be controlled by disabled people with conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
The robot waiters are 1.2 meters tall and weigh 20 kg. They send video and audio to their operators, who can control them from home on a tablet or desktop computer.
The robots made their debut at an event in August. Nozomi Murata controlled a robot and asked a family if they wanted some chocolate.
“I want to create a world in which people who can’t move their bodies can work too,” said Kentaro Yoshifuji, chief executive officer of Ory Lab. Inc., the developer of the robots.
The cafe will open on weekdays from Nov. 26 to Dec. 7. (Kyodo)