Robot waiters serve at Pakistan restaurant
Although robotics is in an early stage in a third-world country like Pakistan, there is a restaurant where robots walk and serve the customers instead of human waiters.
Located at a busy street in northeastern Multan city in Punjab province -- some 500 kilometers (310 miles) away from provincial capital Lahore --, this pizza restaurant is the first one of its kind in this South Asian Muslim country.
24-year-old Usama Aziz, the son of the restaurant owner, is the mastermind of this novel way of catering in Pakistan, and is planning to do it on a larger scale.
After getting a degree in electrical engineering from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad --one of the reputed universities in Pakistan -- Aziz decided to put his expertise to use in a unique way.
"Initially, I had decided to go abroad after completing my studies in 2015 but my father encouraged me to stay in Pakistan," Aziz told Anadolu Agency.
He said he started to seriously think about robot waiters after he watched a Chinese movie on the same idea. His initial aim was to boost his father's restaurant business.
Following an intensive 8-month work, Aziz managed to develop a robot weighing 25 kilograms followed by a successful testing.
"I have never gone abroad for studies or training. This is a local product developed through local instruments," he said.
"This is just the beginning. I am planning to take it to a much larger scale. I am offering my expertise to other restaurants if they also want robot waiters," he added.
Aziz and his father are also planning to open new branches with robot waiters in other cities.
Aziz said he spent Rs 600,000 ($5,500) for development of three robots working as waiters at the restaurant.
"We have already doubled our sales," he said adding that a large number of customers visited his restaurant after the introduction of the first robot waiter back in March. Two more were added in June.
"Half of our customers are kids who enjoy placing orders with a robot waiter and being served by her," Usama said in a lighter vein.