In his 1912 story A Princess of Mars, early science fiction author Edgar Rice Burroughs dreamed about automated restaurants:
In the past week, three important steps have been taken to take automated restaurants out of the realm of culinary fiction straight into culinary fact. Let's start with ordering your food.
The Bytes restaurant in Canterbury, England is a sit-down restaurant where you order when you are ready—on touchscreen panels.
And here's one feature that should appeal to children of all ages: Free games replace the menu after the order is completed.
How about food preparation? That will be handled by AIC-AI Cookingrobot, a robotic chef announced by Fanxing Science and Technology Co. Ltd in Shenzhen, China. Cookingrobot is able to cook delicious Chinese cuisine. Sichuan, Shandong and Canton cuisines are all programmed and ready to eat. According to the developers, this robot will be ready for home use by 2007.
Finally, there is the matter of bringing food to the table. This can be handled by the new Robo Waiter 1 from Hong Kong's Cyber Robotics Technology. Robo Waiter 1 can also serve as the maitre d', leading guests to their tables.
Edgar Rice Burroughs would approve.
(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from Technovelgy.com
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