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Robot Uprising Update: Robot Waiter, Fasta Pasta, South Terrace, Adelaide CBD, South Australia

Fasta Pasta at the Adelaide Pulteny Motel.

On the second evening of my partner, Enigma, and I's weekend stay in Adelaide we decided to have dinner at Fasta Pasta.

Strangely enough our hotel staff, at the Alba, had not mentioned Fasta Pasta as an option for an evening meal while their restaurant is closed for refurbishment, even though it is literally next door on the corner of South Terrace and Pultney Street.

You may be aware that Fasta Pasta is an upmarket Italian restaurant franchise with its beginnings in Adelaide. Currently they have 19 restaurants Australia wide (with the majority in South Australia - we even have one in Gawler, our home town).

I've never had bad food at a Fasta Pasta, and their food never looks like a franchise meal. You always feel you're at a restaurant that's a little bit more quality than your typical hotel/motel meal. Maybe it's because you don't see as much pasta based meals on an Aussie pub menu.

Despite the name, it's not all pasta. I went with a basic plate of fish and chips served with salad and Enigma I think had the meat eater beef schnitzel. For dessert I had a vanilla slice, and I'm not sure exactly what Enigma had (desserts aren't listed on the menu. You have a choice of whatever is in the cakes/dessert counter display).

Your Robot Waiter Will Serve You

Fasta Pasta's Bellabot Robotic Waiter.
Fasta Pasta's Bellabot Robotic Waiter.

What was really surprising about this dining experience was the unexpected appearance of a robot waiter with the agility of a cat... well the face of a stylized cat, more the agility of a Dalek but with a much brighter and cheerful disposition.

Apparently these robots are called Bellabots, created by Pudu Robotics, and are starting to appear in restaurants around the country (and the world).

This particular robot has been quite a drawcard for South Terrace Fasta Pasta and, indeed, the table over from us said they'd chosen the restaurant that night so their kids could see this robot in action. They loved it.

It's interesting how it's used. Sometimes the robot will head over to your table on it's own with your food on its shelves. You're expected to unload it and then tap 'Done' on the robot's touch screen 'face'. At which time it will send itself back to the kitchen.

Other times the human wait staff will load it up with a particularly large order and then come out shortly after with anything that wouldn't fit and help unload the order.

You'll notice in the image this restaurant has stairs that the robot cannot climb. However they still use it to bring food to the people in this section... it just stops at the stairs and the human wait staff will unload it.

Anyway, that was our first experience of an actual, working robot in a real work environment. 

The robots are coming. They may just be 'waiting' around right now but one day all of these things are going to have lasers and death rays attached for 'our own safety'. Then it'll be on... robot Armageddon!

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