Telpo brings computer vision to robot waiters amid labor market turbulence
Robots with computer vision are being rolled out by Telpo, with the company billing its specialized food delivery robots as the next step in contactless delivery service.
The R55 robot waiter utilizes a 3D camera and computer vision as part of a SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) navigation system for obstacle avoidance. It features plate sensing, automatic charging, multi-point delivery and multi-robot collaboration.
Telpo says the R55 can last 8 hours and return automatically to its charging station, and can handle different floor services and elevators. The robots’ smart broadcasting function could even in theory be used for recommendations, and without the risk of the waiter recommending the restaurant next door.
In addition to supporting customer safety benefits with social distancing, the R55 robots are pitched as a tool for businesses to improve service speed and reduce labor costs.
Telpo also provides POS devices that can support self-service payments through biometrics.
The shifting cost comparison
The U.S. minimum wage increase to $15 an hour can make human workers almost twice as expensive as robots, a manufacturing company manager tells Wired.
The company leases robotic workers, and figures they cost $8 per hour, freeing human workers up to perform other tasks and increasing overall output.
With the pandemic and the ‘great resignation’ causing worker shortages in many places around the world, robots may be gaining a long-expected foothold in the workforce.