Big Rick Stuart
Robot Waiters Deliver Dishes By Dropping Them Down from the Ceiling at the Beijing Olympics
more at Food & Wine
According to Chinese media, the Beijing Winter Olympics Main Media Center is equipped with a huge ceiling-mounted robot arm that lowers bowls of noodles to diners who are seated at Plexiglas-surrounded tables. (If you've ever played one of those crane games at an arcade, it's basically that with much better odds.)
There is also a "robot chef" that cooks and prepares hamburgers and other dishes that can be delivered remotely. Another robot takes less than four minutes to grind fresh coffee beans and brew a cup of coffee. And a third — a huge metal arm — is working as a bartender. Anyone who wants a cocktail scans a code on their phones and then waits 90 seconds while the disembodied arm wields a shaker, selects a glass, and neatly pours the drink.