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Robot Baristas are Latest Front in South Korea Automation Push


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A b;eat robot barista making coffee at a Dal.Komm Coffee franchise.

The Dal.komm Coffee franchise is one of many South Korean businesses using robots and other automation technologies.

Credit: Yonhap

A wide range of South Korean businesses is increasingly incorporating robots and other automation technologies.

For example, the Dal.komm Coffee franchise has 45 robot-outfitted retail robot cafes, in shopping malls, corporate cafeterias, schools, and an airport. A Dal.komm robot barista can take orders remotely via a mobile app or kiosk cashier, and is able to brew as many as 90 cups an hour or about 300 cups daily on one charge of beans and supplies.

Concerns about job attrition have not dampened South Korean food and retail businesses' push to replace cashiers with automated kiosks, with advocates noting such innovations are particularly welcomed by millennial consumers.

Suh Yong Gu, dean of the Sookmyung Women's University Business School, said, "This generation tends to not like meeting other people, so they favor...technology that enables people to minimize face-to-face interactions with others."

From Associated Press
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