Beijing introduces the world to ‘robo-noodles’ to limit COVID spread during the Olympics

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Gordon Ramsay may not be invited to the Olympics this year.

Beijing is focusing on robotic cooks and servers to prepare and serve food to the attendees in the city’s Winter Olympics Main Media Center to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and help maximize efficacy, according to a recent Food & Wine report.

“The intelligent meal preparation and meal service system here can not only improve the efficiency of meal supply, but also save manpower to the maximum extent and avoid excessive human interaction in the context of epidemic prevention and control,” the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.

“The media restaurant will operate 24 hours a day during the competition, providing various dining options such as Chinese food, Western food, and fast food.”

An attendant pours coffee as a robot makes a fresh pot in a waiting area within the closed-loop bubble at the Taizicheng train station - created as a preventative measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus - in Zhangjakou on January 29, 2022.
An attendant pours coffee as a robot makes a fresh pot in a waiting area within the closed-loop bubble at the Taizicheng train station – created as a preventative measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus – in Zhangjakou on January 29, 2022.
AFP via Getty Images

The dining tables are armed with plexiglass barriers to keep diners safe, but as they take a seat, instead of a waiter to greet them, they order their meals on their phones.

Behind the scenes, a robotic cook prepares and cooks hamburgers, a second robot boils rice and noodles, while another doubles as your friendly bartender, whipping up a cocktail in 90 seconds, with the China Global Television Network providing this video for a glimpse of what it’s like inside the facility.

And for coffee-lovers, there’s a dedicated robot who not only grinds, but also brews the coffee in less than four minutes, all the while without complaining.

A robot prepares food in the media dining area of the main media center ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Beijing.
A robot prepares food in the media dining area of the main media center ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Beijing.
AP

After the meals are ready, robotic arms from an electronic platform in the ceiling spring into action to deliver your meals like your own personal waiter, its movement reminiscent of the cranes children play in arcades, just on a much larger scale and with much better odds, according to NBC Sports.

As soon as anyone lands in Beijing to compete, work or volunteer in the games, they will enter a “closed loop,” where people from the outside can’t enter and people from the inside are not allowed to go out, creating a separate Olympic ‘world’ within the city, according to the Washington Post.

“There’s two aspects to the Games for me: the cultural aspect and the athletics aspect,” said Bill Hancock, who is attending his 15th Olympics and a member for the U.S. Olympic Committee.

A worker grabs food delivered to a table robotically in the media dining area of the main media center ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Beijing.
A worker grabs food delivered to a table robotically in the media dining area of the main media center ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, in Beijing.
AP

“Well, the athletics aspect will be the same as always. But culturally, this will be different. All of us knew that before we came here, that you can’t go to the noodle stand down the street. You get your noodles at the press center.”

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