AI robot serves customers at Gangnam restaurant

South Korea’s biggest telco KT has introduced an AI-powered smart robot food server at Mad for Garlic in Seoul.

Developed by KT’s Institute of Convergence Technology, the robot has features such as 3D spatial mapping and self-driving.

The battery-powered machine is 1.25 metres tall, 50 centimetres wide and moves at up to 1.5 metres per second carrying four fully loaded trays.

It is deployed at the resturant in the upmarket Gangham district to serve customers by maneuvring between and around tables and chairs.

“KT is bringing AI closer to the lives of our customers with the release of its first hotel robots last year, second-generation hotel robots this year, and now a new AI serving robot developed for the food and beverage business area,” said Kim Chae-Hee, Head of AI/Big Data business division at KT.

Reducing person-to-person contact

KT and MFG Korea, the parent of the Italian bistro chain, expect food-serving robots to reduce person-to-person contact amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The robots will also help give restaurant employees more time to tend to specific customer needs, boosting their efficiency and productivity.

MFG Korea plans to develop various customer scenarios during the pilot service and study the possibility of nationwide deployment of the next AI-equipped restaurant robot that KT is developing.