Asia-Pacific

Robot making coffee at Tokyo cafe

There's a new barista working in a Tokyo cafe - a single armed robot which grinds the coffee beans, fills a filter and pours hot water over a paper cup.

Japan has a new cafe where customers can enjoy coffee brewed and served by a robot barista.

The robot named Sawyer debuted this week at Henna Cafe in Tokyo's downtown business and shopping district of Shibuya.

The single-armed robot scans a ticket purchased from a vending machine and greets the customer.

"Would you care for a delicious coffee?" the barista, with a screen showing a pair of cartoon eyes, asks in a flat tone.

It grinds the coffee beans, fills a filter and pours hot water over a paper cup for up to five people at once. A cup of brewed coffee costs 320 yen ($3.78) and takes a few minutes.

Sawyer can also operate an automated machine for six and the cafe operator, travel agency H.I.S. Co., says robots can increase productivity while also entertaining customers.

Masataka Tamaki, general manager of corporate planning at H.I.S said only one person is needed to oversee the robot cafe, compared to several people needed at a regular coffee shop, so it can serve better quality coffee at a reasonable price.

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