Robot baristas ready to serve coffee to Singapore commuters

Singapore’s urban rail network is being taken over by robots, but not in the dystopian sense. The robots will be deployed at coffee kiosks at stations to keep commuters and other travelers caffeinated.

What looks like a nightmare-coming-true for workers’ unions, it’s more an innovative concept combining technology and urban lifestyle for Singapore company Crown Digital, a food and beverage-focused Internet-of-Things startup with a couple of interesting ideas.

Together with transit retail and advertising company Stellar Lifestyle, Crown Digital will be deploying a robot called “Ella” at coffee kiosks at 30 mass rapid transit stations in the city-state by the end of 2022.

Up to 200 drinks per hour

The robot in the small five-square-meter kiosks would be able make a variety of up to 200 coffees or tea drinks per hour, the company says.

“We plan to enhance commuters’ experience by enlivening and transforming Singapore’s public transport network spaces with innovative concepts,” Tony Heng, president of Stellar Lifestyle, said in a statement, adding that “Ella” was also “a kind of lifestyle concept.”

In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend to robotics, not just in the public space, but also in hospitals and other service-oriented locations, including restaurants and hotels – a trend that can be seen in Japan, for example. Robots are mostly contactless, do not get sick and also do not act as a vector of viral transmission the way that humans do.

For example, in Singapore, the Changi General Hospital has deployed more than 50 robots for tasks reaching from delivering medicines and food to carrying out administrative work and even performing surgery. In Indonesia’s city of Surabaya, a home-made robot is helping residents maintain social distancing by delivering food and necessities to people in quarantine.

More robotic services to come

Singapore’s urban transport system is the second rail network that Crown Digital has partnered with, following a pilot deal with the East Japan Railway Company signed at the end of last year.

With their high-traffic audiences looking for refreshment on-the-go, transit hubs like urban transport stations and airports are popular target markets for robotic coffee kiosk companies that are just now coming on the market, apart from Crown Digital also firms like Switzerland’s Smyze and California-based Cafe X, among others. UK-headquartered coffee chain Costa Coffee is also deploying robots in some of its outlets, calling them “BaristaBots.”



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Singapore’s urban rail network is being taken over by robots, but not in the dystopian sense. The robots will be deployed at coffee kiosks at stations to keep commuters and other travelers caffeinated. What looks like a nightmare-coming-true for workers’ unions, it’s more an innovative concept combining technology and urban lifestyle for Singapore company Crown Digital, a food and beverage-focused Internet-of-Things startup with a couple of interesting ideas. Together with transit retail and advertising company Stellar Lifestyle, Crown Digital will be deploying a robot called "Ella" at coffee kiosks at 30 mass rapid transit stations in the city-state by the...

Singapore’s urban rail network is being taken over by robots, but not in the dystopian sense. The robots will be deployed at coffee kiosks at stations to keep commuters and other travelers caffeinated.

What looks like a nightmare-coming-true for workers’ unions, it’s more an innovative concept combining technology and urban lifestyle for Singapore company Crown Digital, a food and beverage-focused Internet-of-Things startup with a couple of interesting ideas.

Together with transit retail and advertising company Stellar Lifestyle, Crown Digital will be deploying a robot called “Ella” at coffee kiosks at 30 mass rapid transit stations in the city-state by the end of 2022.

Up to 200 drinks per hour

The robot in the small five-square-meter kiosks would be able make a variety of up to 200 coffees or tea drinks per hour, the company says.

“We plan to enhance commuters’ experience by enlivening and transforming Singapore’s public transport network spaces with innovative concepts,” Tony Heng, president of Stellar Lifestyle, said in a statement, adding that “Ella” was also “a kind of lifestyle concept.”

In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend to robotics, not just in the public space, but also in hospitals and other service-oriented locations, including restaurants and hotels – a trend that can be seen in Japan, for example. Robots are mostly contactless, do not get sick and also do not act as a vector of viral transmission the way that humans do.

For example, in Singapore, the Changi General Hospital has deployed more than 50 robots for tasks reaching from delivering medicines and food to carrying out administrative work and even performing surgery. In Indonesia’s city of Surabaya, a home-made robot is helping residents maintain social distancing by delivering food and necessities to people in quarantine.

More robotic services to come

Singapore’s urban transport system is the second rail network that Crown Digital has partnered with, following a pilot deal with the East Japan Railway Company signed at the end of last year.

With their high-traffic audiences looking for refreshment on-the-go, transit hubs like urban transport stations and airports are popular target markets for robotic coffee kiosk companies that are just now coming on the market, apart from Crown Digital also firms like Switzerland’s Smyze and California-based Cafe X, among others. UK-headquartered coffee chain Costa Coffee is also deploying robots in some of its outlets, calling them “BaristaBots.”



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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