Skip to main content

A restaurant in the Netherlands is using creepy robot waiters for social distancing

A restaurant in the Netherlands is using creepy robot waiters for social distancing

/

They say “hello and welcome” but are a bit weird looking

Share this story

Royal Palace Renesse/Instagram

A restaurant in the Netherlands has introduced new robot waiters as a way to reduce human-to-human contact in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The red-and-white robots (which are giving me serious Rosey the robot vibes) will greet customers, serve food and pick up used dishes from diners’ tables at the Royal Palace restaurant in the town of Renesse, according to the Associated Press.

The as-yet-unnamed robots say “hello and welcome,” in and they wear little scarves (to seem less creepy? idk).

“They help us with the work we do,” says Leah Hu, whose family owns the Royal Palace. “We are often busy and cleaning tables and the robots give us an extra hand. We are not disappearing. We are still here. They will always need people in this industry.”

Restaurants in the Netherlands have been closed for months during the pandemic, and many are beginning to reopen, but with limits on the number of guests allowed. Robot servers, of course, can’t get the coronavirus, but they also aren’t likely to be able to assist patrons with food allergies or get that high chair for that party of seven with a squirming baby.

It’s been a rough few months for the food service industry, with restaurants losing about 5.5 million jobs in April alone. It seems unlikely that robot waiters are going to catch on in American eateries any time soon (the cost alone probably makes them prohibitive for most small establishments), but they’ve been common in restaurants in China for several years now.

And, it’s worth noting that the “machine people” that serve food in China’s restaurants are more of a novelty than a way to be more efficient; most of the robot waiters apparently suck at their jobs.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 25 Not just you

E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 25
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


A
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.