A New Café in Tokyo Has Robot Waiters Controlled by Disabled Workers

Robot Café - Photo courtesy of Ory Laboratory Inc.
Robot Café – Photo courtesy of Ory Laboratory Inc.

Dawn Avatar Robot Café recently opened its doors with a completely different gastronomic proposal and experience that embraces inclusiveness and a barrier-free environment. The café is located in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, and it features robot waiters controlled remotely by disabled employees.

Technology opens thousands of possibilities for most people. For example, during 2020, thanks to all the tools available, most companies operated 100% remotely. As a consequence, this year, more and more companies are looking forward to implementing a hybrid model.

However, apart from all the well-known benefits, remote work also shows how it helps create a barrier-free world. In the case of Dawn Avatar Robot Café technology and remote work are helping disabled workers to show their skills and abilities. 

Dawn Avatar Robot Café: An Inclusive Experience

Source: Ory Laboratory Inc.

Dawn Avatar Café opened its doors in 2018. From day 1 it provided opportunities for people with disabilities to work as the staff controlling a robot server. After this became a huge success, Ory Laboratories (where the robot was designed) opened a new café in Nihonbashi with robot waiters controlled 100% by disabled workers.

Ory Laboratories has the purpose of ‘’eliminating the loneliness of humankind.” Since 2012, they focus on helping people with disabilities, providing opportunities that help them develop in the professional world. Its co-founder Kentaro Yoshifuji focused on designing a remote-controlled robot avatar after being bedridden for almost 3 years.

The robots in Dawn Avatar Robot Café are operated remotely using the internet. They serve as avatars for people who can’t leave their houses for a prolonged time due to their disabilities. The robots, also called OriHime-D, are 120cm tall and have a camera, microphone, and speaker. Additionally, people can control the robots through eye movement. Even people who are completely immobilized can be part of the café’s staff. 

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