'Robot Chef' to offer noodle soups at expressway service areas

By Park Sae-jin Posted : April 12, 2024, 14:15 Updated : April 12, 2024, 14:47
Courtesy of Pulmuone
[Courtesy of Pulmuone]

SEOUL, April 12 (AJU PRESS) - South Korean food company Pulmuone has introduced unmanned robot chefs at five expressway service areas, offering travelers around-the-clock noodle soup menus.

Pulmuone's "Robot Chef," an autonomous cooking system, has been deployed to five expressway service areas managed by its food service subsidiary, Pulmuone Food & Culture, offering a selection of five noodle soup menus. Customers can place orders using a 27-inch touchscreen, and the robots begin cooking upon payment. These menus, priced at 8,500 won ($6), are prepared and served within 90 seconds.

"We aim to offer customers a new experience through our autonomous instant cooking platform, 'Robot Chef,'" said Pulmuone Food & Culture CEO Lee Dong-hoon on Friday. The company plans to install the Robot Chef in two more service areas in April.

Government data indicates that there are over 200 expressway service stops operating nationwide. On average, each service area receives approximately 1.2 million visitors daily, with an average stay of 29 minutes. Snack or meal purchases account for 72 percent of visits, with an average spending of 10,000 won per stop.

The integration of cooperative robots spans various sectors in South Korea, from manufacturing to food and service industries. Urban coffee shops feature robot baristas brewing coffee and tea, while service robots efficiently deliver hot meals and beverages from the kitchen to customers' tables.

This surge in service robot adoption is driven by South Korea's aging population and high labor costs. According to the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, the global service robot market, valued at $36.2 billion in 2021, is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 23.3 percent, reaching $103.3 billion by 2026.
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