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Useless robot waitstaff force the closure of two restaurants in China

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We've built robots that can walktalk, play incredibly deep board games, and even run hotels just like us, but there's apparently one human skill the machines have yet to master — pouring drinks. Chinese chain Heweilai soon found out that robots can't be trusted with simple restaurant tasks after it bought several $7,000 units to serve as waiting staff in three of its locations. Two of the restaurants were forced to close after the robots' uselessness was discovered, with the third only remaining open after it consigned all but one of them to the scrapheap, replacing them with traditional meatbag waitstaff.

Speaking to China's Workers' Daily, a human waiter for the chain complained that the robots were unable to pour hot water, carry soup, or take orders from restaurant patrons, and on top of that, often broke down. Maintenance and repair costs were lower than a human worker's salary, according to Shanghailist, but the employer's dream of replacing surly servers with well-oiled machines seems a way off. Robots might be competent chefs, but at least when the robot revolution does occur, some lucky humans will be kept alive, forced to serve tall glasses of engine oil to our new machine overlords until their dying day.


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