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  • South Korean cafe hires robot barista to help with social distancing
  • jskim | 2020.06.01 09:52
  • South Korean cafe hires robot barista to help with social distancing

    Have you heard about the new robot culture in cafes?

    How do you feel about it?


    There is a new robot barista at a cafe in Daejeon. It  is courteous and swift. It moves seamlessly between customers.

    "Here is your Rooibos almonds tea latte, please enjoy. It's even better if you stir it," it says.


    South Korea had more than 11,000 people get coronavirus and it killed 267. Now South Korea is slowly transitioning from intensive social distancing rules towards daily distancing rules.


    Robots can help people social distance in public said Lee Dong-bae. He is a director of research at Vision Semicon. Vision Semicon is a smart factory solution provider. They developed the barista robot.

    "Our robot needs no input from people from when a customer orders until it  delivers. Tables in the cafe were sparsely arranged for smooth movements of the robots." he said.

    The coffee-making and serving robot, can make 60 different types of coffee. And it serves the drinks to customers at their tables. It can also communicate and transmit data to other devices. And it contains self-driving technology to decide the best ways around the cafe.


    "Robots are fun and it was easy because you don't have to pick up your order," said student Lee Chae-mi, 23. "But I'm also a bit worried about the job market. Many of my friends are doing part-time jobs at cafes and these robots would replace humans." 



    Try to guess the meaning of the words in bold and match them with their closest meaning from the choices in the right. Some of the answers are very close and have similar meaning. The meaning of these words is how they are used in the reading. Some of these words have different meanings in the dictionary depending on how they are used.

     The answers are below the table.




    quick, fast, to move quickly




    Polite, good manners




    Very strong, focused, extreme




    Very few, not many,




    To send something/ a message/information from one place to another




    To invest, to put information or ideas into something, to contribute




    Going from one thing or way of doing something to a another




    To go or move from one thing to the next without a noticeable change, smooth change from one thing to another


    A=2, B=1, C=8, D=7, E=3, F=6, G=4, H=5

    Some example sentences using the new words or phrases from the meaning of how they are used in the reading to help you understand better.

    1. On the bus or train we must be courteous and let older people sit down.

    2. I love the KTX high speed train. It is very swift.

    3. Moving classes to online was seamless.

    4. Next month, we will transition to normal life again.

    5. Some students are going to intensive English camps for the winter.

    6. I want the staff to input their ideas.

    7. Northern Canada is sparse. There are very few people.

    8. Stay home if you see. I don’t want you to transmit your sickness to other people.



    Some questions using the new words/phrases. Try to use the words/phrases in your answer.


    1. How do you show courtesy to older people in your culture?

    2. How important is swiftness in a cafe or restaurant? Give an example.

    3. Explain what you  think it means for a robot would move seamlessly between customers.

    4. When do you think all restaurants and cafes will transition to robot servers? How do you feel about this transition. Do you think it will be seamless or will there be trouble?

    5. How have the intensive social distancing rules affected your life?

    6. What does it mean that the robot needs no input from people when it takes orders?

    7. In cafes people sit sparsely. But what about on public transport and other places? What is your opinion?

    8. What data would the robot be transmitting to other devices? How would this make your cafe experience better?

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