Robot Workers Sacked in Chinese Service Debacle

By Gary Cutlack on at

Useless robot waiters are being blamed for the closure of several restaurants in China, after an investment by the owners in automated serving staff turned out to be a financial disaster.

According to a translated report in the Worker's Daily -- which might have good reason to undermine robot labour, so perhaps be a bit cynical about it -- a restaurant chain has closed two branches staffed in part by $7,000 (£4,900) robot servants, with a third surviving the cut; but replacing the underperforming automatons with rubbish old last-generation human service staff.

Despite what we may have been told by the pro-robot agenda being pushed by the media, staff weren't impressed, telling the paper: "The robots weren't able to carry soup or other food steady and they would frequently break down. The boss has decided never to use them again."

Which is odd, as they seem to be able to weld cars together and put windscreens into them by themselves, surely harder tasks than giving a man a cup of tea? Perhaps they're just afraid of water due to its corrosive properties and get in a panic when faced with a mug of warm liquid? [Shanghaiist via The Verge]

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