The Singapore-based restaurant chain Timbre Group has signed an agreement with Infinium Robotics that will see drones act as waiters in one of its five outlets before the end of 2015. The drones can carry up to 2kg of food and drink: the equivalent of two pints of beer, a pizza and two glasses of wine. They are guided by a computer system and will navigate around the restaurant thanks to a system of infrared sensors.
The move comes at a time when Singapore's food and beverage industry has nearly 7,000 job vacancies, according to government statistics, in part due to new regulation to limit immigration for low-wage jobs.
Photo: Gabriele Diwald / Flickr
Automation has huge implications for business and society, and in particular for unskilled labour. Job losses in low-wage services will add to rising economic inequality.
In this context, the CEO of Infinium Robotics, Woon Junyang, argues the drones could free up over-stretched staff to concentrate on improving the customer's experience.