China's economy is booming, but the labor shortage means there are not enough people to keep up with demand for the jobs. One Chinese chef may have found the solution, at least as far as the restaurant business is concerned. Chef Cui Runguan from Beijing has invented a robot he calls Chef Cui, that can chop and cook noodles. Runguan whole-heartedly believes that just as robots have replaced factory workers, "it is certainly going to happen in sliced-noodle restaurants."
Runguan first came up with the idea for Chef Cui in 2006, and production of the robot began in 2011. Each robot retails for 13,000 yuan, which is about $2,000. So far, Runguan has sold more than 3,000 robots, and reviews are good. Customers are all for the new robot, saying the noodles it makes are as good or better than the ones made by human cooks, and the presentation is top of the line too.
Tokyo, Japan is also getting in on the robot craze. At Robot Restaurant huge female robots dressed in bikinis wink and dance to pop music in a cabaret-style environment. The robots are controlled by real-life women dancers, also bikini-clad, who sit in highchairs that are attached to the stomachs of the robots and they use joysticks to maneuver them.
The performance is called 'Fighting Females' and is designed to be about feisty, fighting women. Japan is known for its appreciation and fascination of robotics. Visitors to the restaurant pay a $41 admission fee, which covers admission to the hour-long show, a boxed meal, and a beverage.
Owners say that the nearly 12 ft. tall robots took three years to build and cost 10 billion yen, which is equal to $125.8 million dollars.