Third International Conference on Advances in Mechanical and Robotics Engineering- AMRE 2015
Author(s) : A CHEONG, E FOO, HY GAN, J CHEN, MWS LAU
With significant improvement in technologies, robotics systems have appeared in homes as vacuum robots, and as transporters of goods and equipment in the industries, including hospitals and mortuaries. In Singapore (amongst others), they have attracted the attention of the food and beverage (F&B) industry, in part due to the lack of human resources here. To address the latter, a work has been established to develop the concept of robotics waiter system to serve at dining tables. It is the integration of autonomous omnidirectional platforms, a commercial indoor Radio Frequency (RF) network of sensors and transmitters and off the shelf coaster paging system commonly used in Singapore eateries. The robotics waiter system will provide services that are mundane and repetitive. The mobile platforms are designed primarily to be productive and efficient; in the current design, the torso can convey many serving trays and possibly used for cutlery collection. However unlike humanoids, they are not designed for dexterity e.g. using robotic arms and hands. Diners can order food with an iPad or tablet, and receive a coaster pager to be placed on their table. When the order is ready, the coaster pager will vibrate and activate the transmission of encoded signal (RC-5 protocol) with its table identity (id). Tables and robots are RF identification tagged and operate with the indoor RF positioning wireless network system. With proper calibration, the RF transmitters spaced at about 9 m apart have been tested with some success of locating tables within a meter or two. It will be evaluated in an operational F&B outlet. The concept and design can be modified for use in the hospitals to assist in the serving of meals and medicine. With the integration of diverse commercial technologies and modular designs, it can be customized for other sectors in the service industry as well.