Diners at a Chinese restaurant in Limerick may encounter an unusual new member of staff...
The Jasmine Palace restaurant on O'Connell Street has brought in a robot named 'Bella' (or Bellabot) to carry food and drinks.
Jeffrey Tse, the general manager of Jasmine Palace in Limerick, told The Pat Kenny Show how the robot staff member came about.
He explained: “BellaBot originally arrived when a friend approached us - a friend who owns an Irish robotics company.
“He gave us a full demo of Bellabot - a service robot who carries foods and drinks from point A to point B. She runs about 12 hours a day non-stop, with only about 3-4 hours for a full charge.
“She helps us out a lot with our repetitive work”.
Bellabot has four sensor trays that items can be loaded onto, as well as an LCD screen with a "funny cat screen" on it.
Customers can’t order food from the robot - instead, Jeffrey said Bella's more like an “electronic trolley” at the moment.
He said: “We’ve always liked to use new, innovative technology… sometimes, the work gets very repetitive, especially walking up and down.
“It’s a bit of fun for everybody, as well as easing the load for the staff as well."
Jeffrey said customers have been excited by the new addition, with younger diners in particular keen to take photos with Bella.
He added: “I hope she doesn’t break down soon! It’s more like a reliability test at this time.”
While Bella is still a new addition to the Jasmine Palace, Jeffrey said there's “no doubt” there are other robots out there that could also help out around the restaurant in the future.