Since 2006, robots have become commonplace in some restaurants in China. They greet customers, take orders, prepare food, and deliver finished dishes from the kitchen to hungry diners. Though mostly a novelty and sometimes unreliable, business owners in China say that robots are still cheaper than hiring humans as wait staff. The robotic waiters are about 5 feet (1.5 m) tall and can display more than 10 facial expressions. In the kitchen, a burger-making robot can make 250 hamburgers every hour.
Invasion of the culinary robots:
- In many fields, robots have already replaced humans, especially for completing repetitive or dangerous tasks. In manufacturing, robots operate efficiently and economically to assemble a wide range of products.
- There are concerns about the increasing use of robots and their role in society. In some sectors, robots have been blamed for rising unemployment.
- The use of robots in military combat has raised ethical concerns, and the possibility of robot autonomy -- the focus of many works of science fiction -- raises troubling, hypothetical questions.