While many ramen shops in Japan remain open and you can even stay in your very own ramen shop-themed hotel room, heading out to your favorite noodle joint and maintaining social distancing protocol can be pretty difficult.
Japanese ramen chain Kourakuen is hoping to make social distancing easier, and ease staffing issues at the moment by relying on a new tablet-operated "ramen robot" called the K-1.
The K-1 helps limit contact between servers and customers, as it's a shelf-equipped robot with a sensor that allows it to navigate the restaurant without bumping into people or objects. The robot can reportedly respond to voice commands and can be navigated with a tablet that both customer and restaurant staff have. It also has "entertainment features", although those remain to clarified.
The K-1 ramen robot will be debuted and apparently make a trial run for future use at the original Korakuen location in Motomiya, Fukushima.
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