Inside Afghanistan’s first robot waitress café
Afghanistan now has its first robot waitress called Timea.
She serves food to happy diners at a restaurant in central Kabul. Restaurant manager Rafi Shirzad says the robot – which was imported from Japan – has been pulling in new customers since it started working last month.
"It is interesting for many people here to see a robot in real life," he said. "Sometimes, kids jump in joy and surprise when they see the robot bring them food."
While robot helpers have become commonplace in Japan, China and even the UAE, they are not a usual sight in the likes of Afghanistan. And the site of a robot-powered waitress has provided some relief in the war-ravaged city.
Timea measures five feet in height and can perform rudimentary tasks. It can deliver plates to tables, as well as say basic phrases such as ‘Happy Birthday’. It can also stop when it sees an obstacle in its way, and take orders via a built-in touchscreen menu on its chest.
But some Afghans don’t see Timea for her whimsical charm, instead viewing her as a threat to the company’s unemployment.
"This is ridiculously wrong," Facebook user Kashif Abobaker wrote.
"They employ a robot when there are tens of thousands of young people desperately looking for a job."