Robotic waiter wins inventors $50,000

ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

The OBYS Robot offers hope for the future of waitering. The prototype, designed by four robotics enthusiasts, won first prize yesterday in a competition organised by ST Electronics and Spring Singapore. Their challenge was to design and build a robotic waiter prototype and deploy it in an actual restaurant. Team leader Hansen Goh (right), who works in consumer electronics, said: "We worked on the project on our own time, at nights, on weekends, in the past year... We are really excited to win so we can refine it." OBYS' shell took a year to build, while the navigation software took about two years to develop, he added. With the 26-year-old are teammates (from left) Maksim Kolin, 27, and Khor Jie Hao, 26. The fourth person, Mr Ng Wei Qi, 28, was unable to attend the event. The robot has an electronic eye close to the ground to detect obstructions 30m ahead of it, with a horizontal field of view of 270 degrees. Customers can enter their orders through an iPad attached to OBYS' head, and food and drinks are served on a tray above it. The team won $50,000. Another $50,000 will be awarded later, upon the successful commercialisation of their solutions, said ST Electronics yesterday in a statement.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2015, with the headline 'Robotic waiter wins inventors $50,000'. Print Edition | Subscribe