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September 25, 2020 by Blog

Robot Baristas in South Korea – Back to the Future?

Remember the good old days when we used to be glued on our flat screens and binge-watch Back to the Future again and again?

Back to the Future is a classic Sci-Fi movie and there’s this scene in part II where Marty walks into a Café and there in the backdrop we see robot baristas! In the film, Marty traveled on a DeLorean time machine to the year 2015 and witnessed a glimpse of the future.

It’s the year 2020 and maybe time travel hasn’t been invented but Robot Baristas are a real thing, especially in South Korea!

The Coffee Culture & Robot Automation in South Korea:

South Korean culture and its love for Coffee cannot be denied. According to statistics, South Koreans drink 12.3 cups of coffee per week which says a lot about the love that they have for coffee. But there’s another sector that South Korea prides itself on which is robotic process automation. The South Korean government spends a large portion of their budget on Robotics Automation. According to one statistic, the size of spending in this sector will go up to 6 billion dollars in 2020. Another stat tells us that Robot Density is the highest in South Korea in the world.

The combination of robotic process automation was bound to find its place in the beverage industry as coffee consumption and robotics together were too good to be ignored.

The Current World:

We can’t ignore the unprecedented crisis the world’s facing at the moment. The fact is social distancing has even pushed the need for automation in crowded places like a coffee bar. The use of AI, robotics, and machine learning is bound to change the dynamics of how work has always been carried in the food & beverage industry. The use of robot automation can help restaurant owners in quite innovative ways to deal with the problem.

A Case – Rooibos in Daejeon, South Korea:

Rooibos is the name of a shiny capsule looking robot that is currently serving as a Barista in the city of Daejeon, South Korea. Rooibos was given the responsibility primarily to maintain social distancing. Its remarkable features allow it to be fast & efficient. The robot can make 60 different kinds of drinks and can serve customers on their tables. It can even speak a bit so that it can somehow engage with the customers. Rooibos makes calculations and navigates himself around the café.

Even though the use of Rooibos was done under the given situation but still an interesting thing happened. People loved the fact that they had a coffee drinking experience without any social interaction. We need to understand that people love their coffee and they might even love it more when they don’t have to necessarily talk to people. This just adds another dimension to the coffee drinking experience of South Koreans. The most astounding fact is that only one employee that is a human being works in the café, mainly for maintenance or refills. Other than that, there’s just no need for hiring labor.

What does Robotic Process Automation mean for the Beverage industry?

Robotic Process Automation isn’t exactly a new thing and is being slowly implemented in different sectors in industrialized countries over the world. South Korea is an interesting case because it has the highest robot density among the labor force. Robot Baristas alone in Daejeon’s café is one of the latest cases of robotic process automation in the beverage industry however many cases of RPA can be seen around cafes of South Korea. It does raise a few questions such as will robots to take over human jobs? But we like to think of it is an evolutionary phase in how the labor force is being optimized for best performance and efficient results.

What’s the Angle?

The angle is quite simple. Do you have a restaurant or a coffee chain? If you do, then it’s the right time to invest in robotic process automation in your manual processes. The fact is that this route gives you an edge over your competitors. If you’re looking for experts in Robotic Process Automation, then don’t hesitate to contact us. We have got some of the best robotic engineers that can turn your dreams into reality!

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