back to article These are the droids you're looking for: Softbank launches Japan cafe staffed by bots

If you thought the service at your local Starbucks was robotic and impersonal, you might want to give Softbank’s newest Tokyo cafe a miss. Working alongside the company’s meatbag workers are a small army of Softbank Robotics’ droids, who’ll help serve and entertain the punters, and will even clean up after them. The new cafe, …

  1. goldfish

    I Want to see the manager

    So.... If the sushi comes deep fried, or the rice is rock hard, who do I complain to...?

    Can I ask for the manager, and if I do, will a killer droid with machine guns for arms come to "take care" of my complaints...

    1. Imhotep Silver badge

      Re: I Want to see the manager

      If a droid asks for your name, make sure you don't tell it Connor. There's some sort of bad blood there.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: I Want to see the manager

      .. able to read basic human emotions and respond in kind

      Your problem starts when the droid announces that, "I will not be subjected to criminal abuse."

  2. JohnFen

    But how's the cofee?

    I couldn't care less if there are robots in the place (although the dancing has the potential to be pretty annoying). If I'm in a cafe, I just want excellent coffee.

    1. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: But how's the cofee?

      Emigrate then because 99% of coffee served in the UK is "nutty".

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: But how's the cofee?

        I suspect you have overestimated the quality of much coffee served in Britain.

        1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

          Re: But how's the cofee?

          I suspect you have overestimated the quality of much coffee served in Britain.

          Or any Starsucks Cafe for that matter...

  3. Imhotep Silver badge

    Do You Want Fries With That

    We may be seeing more robots in our eateries - at least the fast food ones. Unemployment is so low in this area (Nashville) that the eateries are unable to fill open positions. The shortage of staff and the accompanying rise in wages may drive automation in at least some of the positions. You only have so much latitude to increase prices - especially in the fast food segment.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't think about doing a runner without paying, security is a T-1000 terminator.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      I might be a little more concerned about Ray Bradbury's Baskerville - far scarier. (when science fiction at least appeared to be more inventive)

  5. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Works for me

    I go to McDonald's solely because they have a *working* self-order screen. (as opposed to the useless broken shit at places like Wendy's)

    Finally I can order without explaining it 4 times to someone that doesn't speak English as a first language and still getting it wrong 50% of the time. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, but a language barrier when I've got to get something to eat is not welcome... the language barrier is partly my fault as well, due to my rough Southern accent)

    I certainly don't go there for the food, but they've got my business because of the technology.

    1. JohnFen

      Re: Works for me

      "I go to McDonald's solely because they have a *working* self-order screen"

      It's always interesting how different people are. I'm not big on McDonald's to begin with, but those self-order screens drive me batty, and I stopped going to McDonald's entirely because of them!

      But then, there are no language problems in the McDonald's in my part of the country.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Works for me

        I don't go into McDonald's because the food is shitty.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Works for me

          I can't comment on that because owing to a mix-up by a colleague we ended up in a McDonalds in Frankfurt in 1994 and the experience was so awful I have never been in one since. It reminded me of Good Omens, and not in a nice way.

          1. Kane Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Works for me

            Your food arrived after half an hour, at room temperature, and it was only because of the strip of warm lettuce between them that you could distinguish the burger from the bun?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Works for me

              No, it was worse than that.

              I wonder who the downvoter was? Downvoting a factual post seems pointless - you may disagree but my experience was what it was.

              The next day we ate a much better meal at a roadside stand called Werner's Schnellimbiss. The Wurst it had to offer was much better than McDonalds.

      2. MonkeyCee

        Re: Works for me

        I'll go to the counter or the screen depending which queue is shorter. Main advantage of the screen is tha if you know what you want, you can get it through nice and quick.

        Biggest issue for me is that people are SLOW on the screens. Like look through the menu twice kind of thing.

        Admittedly BK can usually just ask "how many cheeseburgers today?" for 99% of my orders :)

  6. Mike 16 Silver badge


    Anybody else a bit curious what it will be use for as cleaning fluid?

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: Whiz?

      Ayup - The Japs obviously aren't attuned to English slang, but I sure hope robot whiz is different.

  7. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    This reminds me of William Shatner's Tekwar series (the books).

    Of course the inevitable meatbag uprising will happen, but by then the T-800 may be reality.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    AIST maybe

    Softbank Robotics> Meh. Now if they had some HRP-4C robots, the robotic staff could sing and dance for you as well, or even cosplay as Gumi while singing.

  10. Mystic Megabyte


    I may have posted this before but it may be relevant.

    When McD arrived in the UK there was much press coverage. At the time we had Wimpy bars where you had stainless steel cutlery and seats that were horizontal. Normally if you open a restaurant you serve big portions at a cheap price for at least a month. I went to McD, it was shit. I have no idea why anyone would eat there. Later on the only times that I eat at McDs was if it was the only outlet open in the town that I had arrived in late at night. Still shit!

    Can we have the DOUBLE FAIL icon please?

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: burrgh!

      The only place I ever tossed a freshly made burger in the bin was McD in Paris. I later figured it is the cheese. McD doesn't use the same recipes in every country.

  11. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "an emotionally intelligent robot"

    I read that as "annoying". I wonder what Marvin would make of them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "EQ? Don't talk to me about EQ." Followed by making it die of depression.

      The rest of the Galaxy had sub-ethanet broadcast but not wifi, which suggests that (a) they knew about Marvin and (b) nobody in the whole Galaxy could implement adequate security on a wireless connection.

  12. Danny Boyd
    Thumb Down

    That's cheating!

    The chef is still human.

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