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Humanoid Robots Serve Customers at a Restaurant in India

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In the past, people would often rely on simple machines and tools to help them do their job. Tasks such as fixing the roof, chopping up vegetables, sweeping the floor, cutting firewood, etc. all had people use simple machines to do the job fast and efficiently.

Today, people still use machines to perform their tasks. However, the difference is that these machines aren’t just simply known as simple and compound” machines. These machines are highly advanced and often have human features with them. Yes, these machines are what you and I would call Robots.

Typically, robots don’t have any resemblance to a human being. Commonly used robots are mostly small automated vehicles that can perform specialized tasks. Humanoid-type Robots are the stuff of many Hollywood films. Metropolitan, Star Wars, The Iron Giant, RoboCop, etc. are just some of the movies that feature these humanoid type robots.

It was long thought that robots such as those in the movies mentioned above were fantasy and would never see the light of existence. However, fast forward to our current times, and you’ll see that robots are more ever-evolving and beginning to resemble us closely.

As mentioned earlier, machines are often used to perform simple tasks. Since robots are complicated machines, they’re more than just for show. Some do actual work that benefits a lot of people. Enter the Indian State of Odisha. Where the first restaurant to use two human-like robots to serve humans exist.

History

The Robo Chef restaurant in Chandrasekharpur area of Bhubaneswar, Odisha, opened its doors to customers on October 16, 2019. As the name of the restaurant suggests, customers were delighted to see two fully functional robots that would serve and greet them.

The owner of the restaurant is Jeet Basa, a civil engineer by trade. When asked what drove him to use robots as servants for his restaurant, he simply said that his visit to the United States let him see the marvel of robotic servers.

The Robots

Jeet Basa named his two robots ‘Champa’ and ‘Chameli.’ Champa and Chamelli are shaped like a cone with its base having wheels that support fluid movement. At the top of the cone is a cylindrical shaped box that serves as the body or the “chest” of the robots. Both Champa and Chamelli have arms that can safely support orders of up to 20kg.

The chests of the robots have a special screen where you can see the menu. Both robots have heads that are shaped like small upside-down triangles. They also have 2, blue-lit eyes that which may house the sensors that the robots use to navigate.

SLAM

Today, standard robots often use predetermined routes to travel to and fro. Sometimes, robots even need some sort of assistance, especially if traversing through challenging terrain.

Predator drones are examples of these machines that are used by the U.S. government. Although these drones can stay in the air unmanned, they often need a pilot that’s stationed thousands of miles away. Predator drones are mostly used for surveillance and covert operations by the U.S. army.

Champa and Chameli, however, use a more suited program for navigating in small spaces. Enter the SLAM system. Sites like robots.net also cover this important system for most robotic applications. Although no specifications have been made, it’s speculated that the sensors these robots use to navigate are located in their eyes. Again, the similarity to human beings is becoming more common with robots nowadays.

The system that Jeet Basa uses in his robots is the SLAM technology. SLAM stands for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping. SLAM will always use some kind of targeting system to identify any objects and tell the robot where it’s going.

SLAM also uses optical sensors such as 3D High Definition LiDAR(Light Detection and Ranging), 3D sonar sensors, and a laser rangefinder. Some robots also use 2D cameras as additional support systems for their sensors.

SLAM was the result of the hard work done by R.C. Smith and P. Cheeseman in 1986. Several applications of SLAM were recognized, most notably by DARPA or Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Stanley and Junior cars by Sebastian Thrun included SLAM in their systems. These cars were self-driving and had no problem winning second in DARPA’s 2000 urban challenge.

Robot Vacuum Cleaners or Roombas are the mass-market applications of the SLAM system. As you can see, Roombas are highly sensitive to their environment and rarely get damage from moving around the house.

A Booming Trend in India

Although Jeet Basa knows that many restaurants in India are using robots to serve food and take orders, Champa and Chamelli are special. Jeet Basa proudly claims that his robots are the first non-line followers in India. These two robots are freely moving, without the aid of any lines. Robo Chef is the first robot restaurant in Eastern India and the first in India to use free-roaming robots in service.

“They are both made in India”

Aside from being the first in India to use SLAM system robots, Jeet Basa is exceptionally proud that both Champa and Chamelli were made in India. Most robot servers in Indian restaurants around the country, often use imported parts that come from outside countries such as China, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, and the United States.

Features

As mentioned earlier, Champa and Chamelli use the SLAM system for navigation. The robots also have other features that cater to a busy environment. Besides both arms of the robots, you can see speakers that act as the mouthpiece of the robots. They are programmed to speak Odia language and can communicate with customers with ease.

In fact, the two robots often approach patrons after being served and greet them with “Apana mane khushi to” which means “Are you happy?” The phrase was popularized during the 2019 election campaign of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Although the robots are sensitive to their surroundings, they can also sense changes in the environment, such as an increase or decrease in temperature. Champa and Chamelli can also detect smoke and identify people. As diners make their way to their tables, the robots can greet them.

Orders are made through a tab which is connected to the robots’ and restaurant’s system. Serving a lot of people won’t be a problem as these robots can hold a lot of dishes. The robots run entirely on batteries and often require 30 minutes to charge and work for 8 hours straight.

Other Restaurants

Robot Restaurant is another diner that uses robots to serve customers. The restaurant uses five robots who all have their unique names. Arya, Sansa, Alice, Ramya, and Zoey are the robots that will help serve customers with Indo-Asian cuisines. A sixth robot named, the Queen Robot will operate soon and function as the receptionist.

In Assam, the Uruka restaurant also uses a robot as a waiter. Aptly named Palki, the robot comes in traditional Assamese Sattriya attire and is helping the restaurant serve a welcoming drink, appetizers, and traditional Assamese dishes.

Takeaway

Technology is significantly making advances in everything we do. From using simple tools such as wedges and levers to operating and supervising fully autonomous robots, humankind has come a long way of making life more comfortable.

Champa, Chamelli, Zoey, Arya, Sansa, Alice, Ramya, and Palki are just the precursors of things to come. Soon, we’ll have human-like robots performing almost every task imaginable.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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5 Security Tips to Secure your Business’ IT assets

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After sabotaging large-scale enterprises, city IT infrastructure and even the busiest airports of the world, cyber criminals seem to have found a new sweet spot to target their malicious crimes. A vulnerable spot which is not only burgeoning in size but is also largely undermined as a cybercrime target.

Small businesses it is. Small businesses are usually run by entrepreneurs, either singly or with a handful of employees who are working rigorously to grow the business. Naturally, something like cyber security would rank at the bottom of their priorities.

Amidst all the hurry-burry of building the business, putting processes into place and winning customers, there is hardly anytime left to introspect about cyber security and its business impact. It is this negligence from the part of small businesses that is making cyber criminals point their crosshairs on them. According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses.

“Hello friend! I have some bad news for you. Your files have been encrypted!” Thus, began the email that Joe received one fine morning when he opened his email. It was an email that signaled that his system was under a ransomware attack. Along with Joe several other colleagues got the mail implying that the whole company was under attack. Within a few minutes, their systems were locked down and a ransom payment in bitcoins was demanded through an on-screen message.

Countless small businesses around the world have been taken down by hackers asking a ransom in return. Can businesses protect themselves from this inevitable attack of cyber criminals?

Turns out there are some ways businesses — both big and small can put up their defenses to secure them from cyber security crimes. Some such ways are discussed as below:

1. End-point security

Endpoint security or Endpoint protection refers to the measures taken to protect devices that are remotely connected to a network. For example, laptops, tablets, mobile devices used by remote employees to connect to a corporate network are endpoints. Ensuring the physical and digital security of these devices’ forms part of endpoint security. If these endpoints are not properly secured, they can act as potential vulnerable points for hackers to sneak their way into the corporate network and steal data. End-point security can be ensured with the help of endpoint security software like antivirus software, malware detection systems, etc.

2. Fortify website security

In this mobile-first-age, websites happen to be the primary source through which customers contact businesses. Websites are used to find business information as well as conduct online transactions. This involves both eCommerce as well as other activities like sharing personal contact information like email or phone number for furthering business relationships.

Additionally, there are also financial transactions that are conducted online, like banking and insurance which are critical in nature. Even the slightest security mishap can result in personal identity or financial data theft. Businesses must take precautionary measures to ensure that customer data is not compromised in any way. SSL certificate is important for every website. It secures your users’ personal information and credit card details. If the business has multiple sub domains through which it serves customers, wildcard SSL certificate secure them all without breaking the bank balance severely.

3. Ensure GDPR compliance

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, a recent European Union regulation that was enacted to protect the personal data of users and also to govern the collection and processing of user data General Data Protection Regulation.

GDPR compliance is necessary for several reasons. First, it ensures that your business is on the right side of the law. As a result, you will be spared from the hefty fine of Up to €20 million, or 4% of annual global turnover – whichever is greater. Complying with GDPR requirements will also streamline your business processes thereby ensuring long-term cyber security of the business.

4. Regular data backups

Cyber security affect businesses in one unmistakable way. It deprives them of data that is necessary to keep the business running smoothly. Of course, there is the cloud where all data can be stored for remote access. But, when a cyber security incident happens, most probably your data in the cloud would also be compromised.

It is better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario than to be at a loss when the tragedy happens. Such preparation comes in the form of regular data backups. Like any other process that is carried out on a periodical basis, make sure you take regular data backups of your business data. Ensure that the backed-up data is stored in offline drives where they are far from the reach of cyber security criminals.

5. Background checks for IT vendors

As a growing and thriving business, your business will have to engage multiple IT vendors. These vendors could be engaged for supplying UT hardware, software development services or even for performing some of your core activities that are outsourced.

To ensure that your organizational data is not compromised and is protected at the end points, make it a practice to carry out background checks for IT vendors. Trace their physical business location, carry out independent vetting of their past operations and get signed documents from the vendors that they will follow stringent security measures while dealing with your business data.

Final Thoughts

Technology has helped businesses to grow without any restraints. The same technology has also created a web of vulnerabilities which can trap naive businesses. It is mandatory for businesses of all scales to take cyber security seriously. They must put in place the right measures to ensure that the business remains immune to cyber security attacks. These 5 security tips can help with that.

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