12.5 C
New York
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Home News SoftBank likes what Bear Robotics has on the menu

SoftBank likes what Bear Robotics has on the menu

Soon a robot will be the one to spit in your food instead of a human.

bear-robotics-waiter.jpg?itok=CivXKoVG

What you need to know

  • Bear Robotics makes Penny, a robot food server assistant.
  • The company recently raised $32 million in Series A funding, led by SoftBank.
  • Penny is in testing and will be leased to restaurants and other food-serving establishments.

SoftBank has bet some pocket change (by SoftBank standards) on a robotics company that specializes in food service. TechCrunch recently sat down with Bear Robotics CEO John Ha, whose company just finished a Series A funding round that ended with $32 million in investment, led by SoftBank. TechCrunch notes that SoftBank also recently invested heavily in robotics firm Berkshire Grey, a warehouse robot maker that raised $263 million in Series B funding.

Rather than replace human servers, Ha sees Bear Robotics server droid, named Penny, as an assistant that will reduce the amount of labor the humans need to perform. Current versions of the robot don’t talk much or display a personality, they simply deliver up to three trays of food.

“It’s self-driving tech that’s been adopted for indoor space, so it can safely navigate from Point A to Point B. A server puts the food on Penny, and it finds a way to get to the table … We’ve also had to make sure the wheels won’t accumulate food waste, because that would cause issues with the health department.” — John Ha, CEO Bear Robotics

Bear Robotics is currently testing the robot in restaurants, casinos, and some homes, and Ha expects to add nursing homes to the target list in the future. Penny will be leased to establishments, not sold, and will require a subscription commitment for “white-glove” service that includes maintenance and support. Thus begins the age of robot-as-a-service (RaaS), though paying a server a monthly rate that includes maintenance sounds suspiciously like paying a salary with health insurance, except the money goes to a robot.

Robot Cleaner

iRobot Roomba 960

irobot-roomba-960.jpg?itok=Zjdu1UP_

$399 at Amazon $399 at Walmart

A powerful vacuum for any home

This robot provides powerful suction, home assistant compatibility, and sensors to keep it from bumping into things. It’s a great pick for any home.

Latest

LG Wing hands-on: This swivel-screened loon shows promise

Is the LG Wing the swivel-screened maniac of the smartphone world?

How to watch Big Brother All-Stars: Stream season 22 live from anywhere

Big Brother returns in its 20th year on the air for a special All-Stars season that's bringing back some of

Latest Pixel Buds update fixes audio cutout issues for some users

Sadly, the update doesn't resolve the general connectivity issues affecting the true wireless earbuds.What you need to knowGoogle is rolling

LG Wing hands-on preview: The weirdest phone of 2020?

LG's Explorer Project kicks off with a dual-screen swiveling smartphoneLG hasn't shied away from weird form factors over the years.