February 5, 2021

Pudu CatRobot400x275China-based Pudu Robotics has deployed its BellaBot to Sushi Island, a restaurant in Canada, to assist the restaurant’s waiting staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. The robot autonomously delivers food items to tables, helping to reduce human contact between diners and restaurant staff.

According to a worker at the restaurant, Sushi Island has experienced a sharp increase in its number of visits since BellaBot, which includes an interface that looks like a cat, was deployed on January 17. 

The company said BellaBot is friendly to approach due to the cat face and interface, as well as multi-modal interaction that integrates visual, tactile, and auditory senses. The robot can move, orient and navigate by itself in highly dynamic and crowded environments. Equipped with intelligent induction trays, the robot can deliver food to three to four tables at a time. When the robot arrives, a light strip beside the tray starts to flash, reminding customers to pick up their food. After the food is taken off the tray, the light strip goes out, at which point the robot moves to the text table.

In addition to the basic delivery mode, BellaBot comes with a Cruise mode, which lets the robot move back and forth to deliver snacks or buffet food. In this mode, the robot can walk around at the front door of a shopping center or restaurant to help attract customers. BellaBot also includes a Birthday mode, in which it delivers birthday cakes accompanied by music.

The company said the delivery robot helps customers feel safer by having less human contact. A manager at Sushi Island told a television reporter (who made the video) that no employees would be laid off because of BellaBot.

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