The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have a little competition in pizza fandom.
Meet “Dilly Plate,” a little robot who just got a job as a waiter at Pizza Hut in Seoul, Korea. It (he?) started a two-week test run on Monday, according to the Korea Times, the first time a robot waiter has been allowed to cut loose on the floor of the country’s dining industry, the company said. Developed by Woowa Brothers, a South Korean startup that also operates the food-delivery app Baedal Minjok (“Delivery Nation”), the little pizza server looks a bit like a moving table and is designed to makes short-distance deliveries within the restaurant.
Dilly Plate’s pizza-delivery services are the first step in commercializing the food bot developed by Woowa and researchers at Korea University, practicing its indoor food-delivery skills before moving into the great outdoors and making long-distance deliveries. Woowa Brothers, which back in 2014 got $36 million in funding in a round lead by Goldman Sachs, hopes to develop low-cost robots that could open the delivery market to include picking up items at the grocery story, taking out recyclables, making pharmacy runs, and more, according to an interview with Korea Joong Ang Daily.
The roving table is the first step toward cornering the “under-1,000 won delivery charge” market (that’s about 89 cents) and making robot delivery affordable, accessible, and absolutely adorable. But before it can conquer the world, Dilly Plate has to make sure that a Bacon Potato pie makes it safely through Pizza Hut before its customers get too hangry.