The world is rapidly changing to adjust to the changes brought by the pandemic. New technologies and services are coming. Korea is at the forefront of this technology revolution. Among the new contact-free technologies is the “Serving Robot-based Smart Restaurant Service linked to POS” project. This service was discovered in the field of Last Mile Robot Delivery. It has been carried out by Kosturn, the performing organization, and ARDENT ROBOT, the participating organization.
Statistics that pushed the idea of Smart Restaurant Service
According to an analysis of the “Status of Survival Rate of Start-ups”, 81.1% of the lodging and restaurant businesses closed their businesses in their fifth year. This analysis was made by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups in 2019. Considering this was the case before the outbreak of COVID-19, the closure rate of the industry is expected to be higher. The economic recession will be major in this background. But problems also play a major role. For example, manpower shortages happen due to the minimum hourly wage for employees. And language barriers caused by foreign workers, and poor service quality. To solve this problem, the introduction of serving robots is actively taking place in Korea. But most of the serving robots introduced in Korea are made up of foreign products. Such as China due to their price competitiveness.
Digitization of serving tasks introduced electronic menus. But, linking the menu with a point of sales was not there before. So, a separate order reception terminal was needed to be re-entered to POS after order and cooking in the kitchen. This is cumbersome for people to enter table information separately to send the robot to the target table. To solve this problem, Kosturn and ARDENT ROBOT connected electronic tablets ordered by customers. Moreover, kitchen monitors for chefs to check kitchen details, and an average POS for transactions too. The “Serving Robot-based Smart Restaurant Service” is a system that serves food quickly and accurately. This is done by linking an automatic delivery system that delivers cooked food by connecting additional electronic tablets for ordering to the existing POS.
The contact-free society triggered by COVID-19 surged the demand for serving robots. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the global service robot market doubled from $8.64 billion (about 10.63 trillion won) in 2017 to $17.2 billion (about 21.17 trillion won) in 2019. Future predictions are that the service robot market will grow to between $40 billion and $50 billion. The restaurant market is a large market worth more than $50 billion (55 trillion won). Hence, the need to focus on the market increases. Because strengthening the competitiveness of domestic serving robots can also lead to expansion of entry into the export market.
Kosturn’s views about the service
Jong-ha Hong, Director of the Kosturn Technology Research Institute, said, “The recently developed domestic serving robot is not only excellent in quality but also in price competitiveness compared to low-cost serving robots in China.”, In the future, we plan to continuously reflect user requirements to upgrade functions and increase completeness, and expand our sales channels not only in Korea but also in exports, they said. Before providing full-fledged services, the Serving Robot-based Smart Restaurant Service linked to POS also served as a transport robot for delivering plaque at the 2021 CHO-A Pharm. Pro Baseball Grand Prize on December 8.
Kosturn, the organizer of the project, is a specialized company that builds a smart restaurant system by developing new products that combine IoT such as automatic order, automatic delivery, and POS. In this project, it was in charge of designing products linked to the communication of existing SSyung Car-based smart restaurant systems, manufacturing product molds, and marketing. Furthermore, industrial robot manufacturer ARDENT ROBOT was in charge of upgrading ROS-based Kosturn robots and developing POS-linked communication protocols in this project.