First 5G barista robot cafe opens

Korean Telecom has applied fifth-generation (5G) network technology to a barista robot at an unmanned cafe near Gangnam Station in southern Seoul.

At the cafe called “B;eat,” operated by local coffee franchise dal.komm, a robot barista takes orders and serves customers drinks and coffee. With KT applying the 5G wireless network to the shop, the robot cafe, which had been operated by wired internet, can now offer faster services.

KT installed a 5G mobile hotspot (MHS) in the coffee shop so that the robot can receive 5G signals from base stations.

“The 5G network in the cafe is used to send the status of the robot and high-quality CCTV to the control tower 24 hours a day,” an official of KT said. “With the CCTV equipped inside the robot, the robot also recognizes visitors to the coffee shop and sends video footage of the inside of the shop to the manager.”

KT claimed this is the world’s first coffee shop to feature a barista robot that supports a 5G network.

“The 5G barista cafe is the world’s first 5G robot cafe to offer real 5G service,” said Park Hyun-jin, head of KT’s 5G business division. “The 5G network-based robot will become an innovative platform that can bring changes to consumers and the entire industry.”

To make the robot smarter, KT will apply voice recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. With the features, customers will be able to make voice orders and receive more customized service through the AI technology, the firm said.

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