Robotic ice-cream store opened in Melbourne this week
Australian start-up company Niska opened a robotic ice-cream store in Federation Square, Melbourne, on Tuesday, 17 September.
The store will see Australian-made gourmet and artisan ice-cream served by a team of robot attendants: Pepper, Eka and Tony.
ABB’s collaborative robot (Tony) is part of ABB’s growing family of YuMi robots and one of three robots deployed in the store. ABB has a rich history in industrial robots and in 2015 launched a collaborative robot. YuMi is claimed to be the first truly collaborative dual-armed robot, designed for a world in which humans and robots work together.
The robots harness advanced robotic technology to create an innovative customer experience filled with robot interactions from the moment a customer steps into the store.
The robots serve ice-cream and toppings, with flavours including salted caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, rocky road, rainbow, cookies and cream and much more.
“We’re excited to bring a new offering to Melbourne’s bustling food scene and we can’t wait for everyone to experience Niska and meet our robot team. It is set to become a must-do experience for anyone living in or visiting Melbourne,” said Anton Morus, Director of Niska.
“Robots serving single scoops is great fun and a real feather in the cap for Victorian innovation,” said Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula.
“There is amazing work going on here in areas like robotics and artificial intelligence — and the ice-cream’s also pretty good,” he said.
A recent report by Deloitte highlighted the importance of unique offerings such as Niska, by stating that bricks-and-mortar retailers are realising the importance of creating unique and curated merchandise offers, in an exciting and entertaining atmosphere.
Kate Orlova, Niska CEO and co-founder, said the company aims to revolutionise the retail space. “For us, ice-cream is just the beginning. We’re looking to expand the robotics into other areas of retail.”
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