Photo: PR Times
tech

Japanese fast food chain’s new robot worker helps people sick and stuck at home continue to earn

8 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Later this month, Mos Burger, Japan’s most popular domestic hamburger chain, will be welcoming a new employee, named OriHime. That spelling, with two capital letters, might seem unusual, but it’s just the first of many surprises, and the second is that OriHime is a robot.

OH-1.png

OriHime will be working the register at Mos Burger’s Osaki branch in Tokyo, not far from the company’s headquarters, taking orders and answering questions customers might have about the menu. Naturally, she’ll be dressed in uniform, with a neatly tied apron, jaunty cap, and a “wakaba mark,” the green-and-yellow leaf-shaped insignia that denotes trainees and other workers who’re new at their position.

However, just because OriHime is working at Mos doesn’t mean the company is trying to take human workers out of the equation. Just the opposite, really, as the robot is instead being installed as a way to let people who can’t commute continue working and earning.

Manufactured by Tokyo-based Ory Lab, OriHime isn’t automated, but remote controlled. According to Ory’s press release the Mos Burger OriHime will be operated in shifts by two workers half-way across Japan, one in Osaka Prefecture and one in Hyogo Prefecture, who are both “unable to leave their homes due to illness.”

While the specific natures of their illnesses aren’t disclosed, between both people being energetic enough to work remotely, and the current health climate, it seems possible that the program is an attempt to help service industry workers who’re being required to quarantine at home due to coronavirus exposure maintain a source of income.

This isn’t the first time Ory has been involved in this sort of initiative. In 2018, some of the company’s other robots staffed a cafe in Tokyo while being controlled remotely by paralyzed people who were able to operate them using only their eyes.

The Mos Burger OriHime will be working as a one-month pilot program, with its first day on the job July 27, and its shifts from 2 to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Restaurant information

Mos Burger (Osaki branch) / モスバーガー(大崎店)

Address: Tokyo-to, Shinagawa-ku, Osaki 2-1-1, ThinkPark Plaza 2nd floor

Open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. (7 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays)

Website

Source: PR Times

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese hamburger chain replaces buns with beef patties for awesomely crazy sandwich

-- New Mos Burger restaurant serves alcohol, gourmet meals and a burger made from a whole tomato

-- We try the new Tokyo Tower Burger from Mos Burger

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
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Oiishii . . . hanba-ga, robotto to!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pretty soon all the shops in Japan will be staffed by robots controlled by workers in..... China, India, wherever people can be found that can speak enough Japanese and work for much lower wages. That's where this is heading.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And the workers? Universal Basic Income or everyone is homeless

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One silver lining of the pandemic could be an acceleration in service industry automation, something Japan and its shrinking population needs. More touch screens for ordering and self checkouts will probably become the norm. The recent plastic bag ban also paves the way for minimum staffing levels at convenience stores now that bagging purchases is no longer expected/needed.

And the workers? Universal Basic Income or everyone is homeless

Hopefully many can move into agriculture, manufacturing, construction, ship building, nursing etc. All key sectors where Japan has been importing foreign labour. The recent subsidies for companies to move manufacturing back from China many also provide new jobs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Quite a few of the workers are already pretty much closer to Orihime than humans

And anyone thinking that robots are nice and cute don’t really comprehend the near future...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

All they need now is a robot wife/girlfriend and that will be the end of humans....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and a robot husband/boyfriend....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I went to a robot factory once. Robots were making robots in the dark.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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