Prague's landmark Municipal House gets new robot waitstaff

If you dine at the cafe in Prague's Municipal House in the near future, don't be surprised to see your meal brought out by a robotic server. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 25.09.2022 15:35:00 (updated on 25.09.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Those dining in the cafe at Prague's Municipal House (Kavárna obecní dům) in the near future may be surprised to find some new waitstaff at the local landmark. The cafe has hired a pair of new servers, and they delivers meals on wheels.

The new Lucki robots were produced by the Chinese company Orionstar, which specializes in producing innovative artificial intelligence solutions for the service industry. They come to Prague courtesy the Czech company Bettaroe Robotics, which introduced the new robot servers to the public at the Municipal House this weekend.

The Lucki robots don't just deliver meals: they can also greet guests and lead them to available tables. Sensors in the robots allow them to avoid obstacles and restricted areas, and communicate with each other to avoid collisions.

Chefs will no longer need to ring a bell when an order is ready: after preparing a meal, kitchen staff can place food and drink within the Lucki robot's trays, select the table that they should deliver them to, and send them on their way. Lucki can carry up to 40 kilograms, but use in a restaurant will require far less.

Given the touch-screen interface on Lucki's "head", customers could also potentially place orders through it, eliminating the need for human servers entirely. But that would beg the question: how much do you tip a robot?

At Prague's Municipal House, the new robotic waitstaff will save human servers dozens of kilometers of walking every day. They were introduced on Friday by Bettaroe Robotics alongside the directors of the Municipal House and Vyšehrad 2000, the catering company that operates its cafe.

Bettaroe Robotics has supplied other Prague restaurants with similar artificial intelligence solutions, including a popular robotic "cat" named Bella at Šalanda Pankrác in Prague 4. The company also produces a fully-automated street-sweeping robot.

Prague's Art Nouveau Municipal House, located in the Old Town city center, is known for its Smetana Hall, one of the city's most celebrated concert venues. In addition to the elegant cafe, it also houses a French Restaurant, a basement beer hall, and an "American" bar billed as one of the oldest in Europe.

Robots have made a splash in Prague in recent years, which is fitting as the word itself was coined by a Czech writer and Prague resident, Karel Čapek. In addition to the new A.I. waitstaff at the Municipal House, Prague has also seen a robot bartender, a robot receptionist, a robot playwright, and even a proposed robot driver on its new metro line.

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