Service with a smile also comes with an electronic voice at the Dalu Robot restaurant, where the hotpot meals are not as famous yet as the staff who never lose their patience and never take tips.
The restaurant, which opened this month in Jinan in northern Shandong province, is touted as China's first robot hotpot eatery where robots resembling Star Wars droids circle the room carrying trays of food in a conveyor belt-like system.
More than a dozen robots operate in the restaurant as entertainers, servers, greeters and receptionists. Each robot has a motion sensor that tells it to stop when someone is in its path so customers can reach for dishes they want.
The full story is here and for the pointer I thank Daniel Lippman.