Major convenience store chain Lawson Inc. has launched an automated 153cm tall robot chicken (Karaage-kun) to cook and sell fried chicken (karaage) at an outlet in Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo, that will speak in broken English when confronted with a foreign customer.
Karaage-kun is an AI robot, so basically indistinguishable from a human clerk.
“We wanted to make it as authentic as possible.”
The designers say it cooks karaage 80 per cent faster than human clerks and speaks 60 per cent more broken English.
“Unfortunately, Karaage-kun cannot distinguish between halfs and quarters so they will just have to take one for the team,” says Lawson President Sadanobu Takemasu.
Karaage-kun is expected to work overtime on December 25 without gratitude or extra pay.