The DAWN Café is an upcoming trial project that will test an inclusive working environment. The café will seemingly be staffed with robots that will wait on you by bringing you your coffee and asking if you need anything. But if you think this is another example of robots coming for our jobs, you would be mistaken. Embedded within the robots are real intelligence: they’re operated remotely by people with severe disabilities who often can’t leave their bed.
The DAWN (Diverse Avatar Working Network) Café will be open for 2 sessions later this year: November 26 – 30, 2018 and December 3 – 7, 2018. It will be staffed by OriHime-D robots that were developed by OryLab Inc. for the purpose of being remotely operated by individuals who typically would not be able to commute to working environments. For example, patients with ALS who can’t move their muscles would be able to control the robot from bed using just the movement of their eyeballs.
At roughly 120 cm (3.9 ft), the robots are equipped with a camera, microphone and speaker, which allows the operator to fully interact with customers. And with 14 different joints, the robots can perform tasks like carrying trays and serving drinks.
The pop-up café will be located on the 1st floor of the Japan Foundation building in Akasaka. You can learn more about the upcoming pop-up café by visiting the website.