The future is here. A pizza place in Multan has become the first restaurant in Pakistan to deploy a robot waiter. Yes, the robot goes up to the customer’s table, greets the customer, serves the meal, and comes back to the counter, ready to serve another customer. The smart robotic waiter has taken the place of a human waiter. The popular restaurant chain, Pizza.com, plans to deploy similar robots at its Hyderabad branch as well.
NUST alumnus tries to improve efficiency at his father’s restaurant
What makes the robot even more interesting is the fact that it was fully designed and built in Pakistan from scratch, rather than being imported from another country. It was the brainchild of Syed Usama Aziz, an electrical engineer who graduated from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in 2015. With a keen interest in robotics, he wanted to go abroad to study further.
But Syed Usama Aziz’s father who owns the restaurant, convinced him to stay in Pakistan and pursue his passion in the country. Usama later observed that the entire serving process at his father’s restaurant could be made more efficient through automation. Usama initially planned to import components from other countries for the robot, but the prices were too high.
It took Usama 8 months to build the robot waiter
So, he started from scratch and designed all components in Pakistan. It took Usama eight months and PKR 400,000 to develop the robot waiter. After receiving the command, the robot takes food to the designated table, greets the customer, and serves the food. According to TechList, the robot waiter can detect any objects/obstacles in its path. It stops and waits until the object is removed.
The robot waiter is still in beta testing phase with limited artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Usama told Geo News that he plans to further improve its functionality by enabling it to take orders. His efforts are praiseworthy considering the limited resources available to him. The robotic technology could revolutionize the restaurant and hoteling businesses. However, some Twitter users have expressed fear that it could cause massive job losses in the country.