Hate ordering fried chicken from human beings? KFC’s new restaurant has you covered

Have you ever wanted to order a bucket of fried chicken without having to speak to a single a human being? Now you can! KFC, in partnership with Chinese search engine giant Baidu, has just opened the world’s first human-free fast food restaurant in Shanghai, reports SoHu.

The intelligent robot concept store, Original+ (pronounced, “Original Plus”), looks unlike any KFC you’ve ever seen. The interior is designed in a traditional Chinese garden style with bamboo, flowers, and jade accents. Customers enter through a big circular doorway. Most remarkable, however, are the restaurant’s workers – small, pear-shaped robots named Du Mi, who take orders and process payments.

kfc robot

Du Mi’s employers claim they’re robotic cashiers are the first example of an artificial intelligence system at the front end of a fast food restaurant. A California-based company, Momentum Machines, has applied AI technology to create burgers since 2010, but these gaudy machines have been relegated to the kitchen, not to interact with customers. Meanwhile, Du Mi are a customer’s first and only interaction with restaurant staff. As such, the bots are designed to be cordial and engaging, while ushering customers through their purchases.

The restaurant’s first commercial stars Lu Han, a young Chinese singer-actor, who’s popularity among millennials hints at KFC’s desire to attract youth and keep pace with emerging social and technological trends.

And the Colonel isn’t alone in its attempt to establish itself in the burgeoning industry of futuristic fast food. Last year, McDonald’s opened Create Your Taste in midtown New York City. The concept kiosk allows customers to create their own burgers exclusively via touch screen – though human waitstaff stand by to assist customers with placing their orders, according to Business Insider.

KFC’s Original+ may be fun and engaging, but the Yum Brand chain will also have to prove its concept’s economic value. Just last month, two Chinese restaurants “fired” their robot waiters after the machines proved to be poor replacements for human workers.

Product Review

Airselfie 2 may as well be a GoPro stapled to a drunk hummingbird

On paper, the Airselfie 2 is marketed as flying photographer that fits in your pocket and snaps selfies from the sky. Unfortunately it’s more like a HandiCam controlled by a swarm of intoxicated bumblebees
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.
Cars

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.
Deals

The best cheap-but-awesome PS4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.
Gaming

The best free-to-play games you can play right now

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Emerging Tech

Warm up or cool down with the press of a button on the wrist-worn Embr

We review the Embr Wave, a personal heating and cooling wearable designed by a team of MIT engineers that’s now on Kickstarter. Our thoughts? It’s a little bit addictive.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?
Emerging Tech

Hope it doesn’t melt! Rocket to ISS carries vital supplies — including ice cream

A rocket has launched over Virginia's eastern shore, carrying supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). Inside the spacecraft are supplies for the ISS itself and the crew onboard, such as scientific equipment and food.
Emerging Tech

‘Super-Earth’ discovered orbiting nearby star

Astronomers have discovered a large planet circling a sun nearby to Earth called Barnard's Star. The potential new planet is thought to be cold and icy and has a size of around 3.2 times the Earth.
Emerging Tech

OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully tests its asteroid-sampling arm

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, launched in September 2016, is closing in on its target of the Bennu asteroid. The craft has now unfurled its robotic arm, called the Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM), and tested it successfully.
Product Review

DJI has always been the king of drones, and the new Mavics are almost perfect

After flying both the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom for over a week, we’re convinced that these are two of the best drones that DJI has ever made.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Emerging Tech

Smarter cities need smarter addresses. And you just need 3 words

To make really smart transportation choices, more precise location data will have to be integrated with citywide transportation data. Here’s how one company is mapping the world by using just three words.