Robot Orders Scone, Leaves Big Tip

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Today's completely true weirdness: a telepresence robot orders a scone from a coffee shop in Mountain View, California. The robot is given the scone, pays for it, and turns out to be a good tipper.

Now, part of what's remarkable about the following video is the whole bit about the robot (which is completely controlled by a person -- that person is visible in a screen on the robot's "face" and speaks with coffee shop patrons and employees via a mic/speaker/camera combo). So we're not talking about autonomous scone-ordering robots just yet. But the more remarkable thing, to me, is how people in the coffee shop react to the robot. After some initial awkwardness, everyone managed to pull out a camera phone and record the scene. So this is just one of many videos about this particular event. I wonder if, at some point, robots ordering scones will become commonplace? This may be the beginning of a new joke setup: "So a robot walks into a bar...."

This particular video starts a little slowly (as the videographer apparently hears from a friend that a robot is in line, and the videographer dashes to the coffee shop). You see the robot standing in line starting about one minute in.

For the record, the robot is made by Anybots, not Google as mentioned by the videographer below. It reportedly costs about $15,000.

(Via Waxy.org.)

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February 9, 2011 - 9:16am
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