SoftBank will bring Bear’s serving robots to Japan, amid restaurant labor shortages – ProWellTech

SoftBank will bring Bear’s serving robots to Japan, amid restaurant labor shortages – ProWellTech

SoftBank has been quite optimistic about Bear Robotics this year, starting with leadership in a $ 32 million A league in January. It’s easy to see why the investment firm believes this is the turning point for the Bay Area-based startup, as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to economic and employment problems around the world, not to mention all mandatory social distances.

Jobs, of course, have been a problem in Japan for some time, thanks to a shrinking population, low birth rate, and a confluence of other issues. The ongoing global pandemic, meanwhile, hasn’t done much to move the needle in the right direction. This week, SoftBank detailed plans to bring the Bear’s Servi robot to the country in an effort to address the problems of restaurant work.

Priced at $ 950 per month, as part of a three-year lease plan, the robot will arrive in Japan in January. The robot is a mobile service station designed to replace or augment the wait staff in a restaurant. Each unit is able to contain two serving trays and a basket to carry the dishes after the service.

Image credits: Bear Robotics

There is a lidar for navigation and a touchscreen on board, or it can be operated remotely via tablet. Each system is capable of running anywhere from eight to 12 hours, according to Bear’s specifications. It’s a fairly simplistic system, as far as these things go, lacking the humanoid design of the Pepper robot or Boston Dynamics’ more sophisticated quadrupedal robots, both currently part of the Softbank Robotics group. But when it comes to robotics, often the simplest approach is also the best.

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