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Drones delivering in restaurant

It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

A Singapore restaurant plans to use drones to transport food and drinks from the kitchen to a wait station near customers’ tables by the end of this year.

It has spent the past two weeks testing the technology at the restaurant before it opens each night for business.

Delivering plates of food and drink to individual tables sounds like a recipe for disaster. How does the drone know where to hover? What if someone bumps into the drone or is standing in its way?

While Infinium Robotics claims it’s all technically possible, Timbre won’t be delivering food from the kitchen straight to customers’ tables. It wants to preserve a human touch. So the drones will fly from the kitchen to two stations frequented by waiters. The routes are 30 and 60 feet. The drones are programmed to fly no lower than 8½ feet, so as not to crash into any guests.

“There’s no chance at all you will hit anything,” says Infinium Robotics chief executive Junyang Woon.

The drones automatically charge while waiting in the kitchen. After the chef puts an order on the drone, he hits a button on a keypad and the drone automatically flies to one of two wait stations. Sense-and-avoid technology built into the drone won’t allow it to land at the wait station if anything is in its way. The drones are also equipped with sonar and an infrared sensor.

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