Get your food served by a robot at restaurants on SW China's rest stops



Smart ordering, smart tables and robot delivery have hit the rest stops at expressways in China's Chongqing Municipality, according to an announcement by the local traffic committee on Saturday.

Dalu rest stop at Chongqing’s Yusui Expressway, a national model rest stop, has recently introduced unmanned restaurant service. The service consists of three parts – a smart ordering system, smart tables and robot delivery.

People choose what they'd like to eat in the ordering system and place them in the shopping cart by clicking the screen on the table. After paying – by non-cash means, like WeChat or Alipay – a robot server brings the food to their tables.

The smart tables can do much more than help you order food. It can be a game machine, a tour guide or even an e-commerce platform. While waiting for food, people can play games, browse news and check the weather and road conditions via their versatile table. They can also order local specialties and have them directly sent home.

Dubbed Amy, the 1.55-meter-tall robot is equipped with autonomous navigation system which enables it to walk freely without a fixed track. It can also stop and avoid obstacles with a radar system, said the person in charge of the restaurant.

Amy is also smart enough to recognize the table number and bring the food right to the diners.

Besides Dalu, the Wulong rest stop at Yuxiang Expressway is also pioneering the robot server.

The service is expected to be rolled out in other rest stops in the city, to provide a better and more convenient experience for drivers and passengers.

"If their performance is good, the robots will find work in more restaurants along the city's expressways," said Zheng Yi, operations manager with the Wulong rest stop.