Published on September 10th, 2013 | by The Fake Lantern0
North Commons To Add Robotic Servers
COLUMBUS, OH - Citing a need for better service and a surplus relating to the sale of block meal plans, The Ohio State University Dining Services announced it would begin the north campus renovation process early by replacing the human staff of North Commons with robotic servers.
While the new staff will be mostly comprised of completely lifeless, and slightly menacing, robotic arms, university leaders were able to make the servers seem a bit like the people they replaced with a little help from the graduate students of Ohio State’s engineering school.
“We installed voice boxes into the robots and programmed them to sound like the human staff did,” said student Mike Foster, leader of the project group charged with the task of emulating human behavior in the machines. “Each robot has its own personality with unique phrases. One says “What’ll it be, honey?” Another aggressively says “NEXT!” Stuff like that.”
However, Foster and his team didn’t stop at voice programming. After studying the waitstaff at North Commons for over a month, several other features were added to the robots. “We made sure that they don’t hesitate to give you the burnt ones,” said Foster. “If there’s an absolutely black hamburger — sorry — when there’s an absolutely black hamburger, the robots will select it for you.” The team leader continued on. “They’re also programmed to clean the table while you’re sitting at it and to awkwardly grab your cup from you before you set it into the bin upon completing your meal. Anything that made the servers seem realistic, we tried to implement.”
Foster added that the robotic servers will hopefully serve food with a slightly less cold attitude than the human servers ever did.