This month a Dawn Ver Beta cafe opened in Tokyo, Japan for a two week period. It used Orly Lab’s robot waiters as servers for their customers and while robot technology is not new, Ory Lab has a twist to the usual use.
Ory Lab employ severely disabled people to remotely control the robots, helping them to gain more independence.
Dawn Ver Beta cafe employed 10 people to work in their cafe, who suffered from spinal cord injuries and diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). They were pain 1,000 yen ($9) per hour and operated the robots from their homes.
They use eye-tracking technology, with the help of a computer. The technology is similar to that used by the late Stephen Hawking who was also suffered from ALS. This gave them the freedom to move the robots, allow them to pick up items and even have conversations with the customers. Essentially, the robots became a body for the disabled people to work through. “I want to create a world in which people who can’t move their bodies can work too,” said Kentaro Yoshifuji, CEO of Ory Lab. Inc.
However, the cafe is only in the beta stage for a couple of weeks and still raising funds for a full-time position in 2020.