SoftBank wants to sell robot waiters to Japanese restaurants

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank’s robotics arm said on Monday it will bring a food service robot developed by California-based Bear Robotics to Japan as restaurants grapple with labour shortages and a new socially distanced norm as a result of the novel coronavirus. Servi will be launched in Japan in January and will cost 99,800 yen ($950) per month excluding tax on a three-year plan, SoftBank Group said. The start up first showed a prototype to Softbank chief executive Masayoshi Son last year and SoftBank led a $32 million round of investment in the startup in January. SoftBank’s humanoid Pepper robot became the face of the company following its 2014 unveiling but failed to find a global customer base. The firm in 2018 announced cleaning robot Whiz, which employs technology from group portfolio company Brain Corp and has sold more than 10,000 units worldwide.

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