The robots have taken over the Beijing Olympics. At least, in the area of food delivery they have.
For reporters, the only way to get fed within what's known as the "closed loop" of the Winter Olympics in 2022 is to submit to a completely remote delivery, sent to divided tables via an overhead conveyance.
With over 13,000 international athletes and journalists set to arrive in China for the Winter Games that kick off Feb. 4, the country has created a fenced-off area that will provide all the comforts of home, except freedom to wander around the country. They've created a fenced-off, policed loop to contain everyone … and, hopefully, contain the COVID-19 virus that created the need for such planning at the same time.
Here's a video from China's CGTN, showing the process in motion:
Inside the loop, attendees may not have food delivered the traditional way. At the Main Media Center, reports Reuters, food is prepared and served by robot chefs that assemble everything from noodles to sandwiches to hamburgers, then bring the completed meal to tables located beneath an overhead grid.
We rather like the pink theme that pervades the presentation.
Tables are then sectioned off by Plexiglas panels, to keep people able to see one another, but not spread the virus (hopefully).
This is what attendees living inside the loop will have to get used to; they'll be funneled into one of 25 special sites from the moment they land at one of Beijing's airports until they depart.
According to NPR, organizers have also added coffee shops and even beauty salons, but no word as to whether those locations are staffed by robots.