From Industrial Robotics & Automation - Fanuc Teach Pendant Programming

The Robotic Busser (Arby)

Tabatha's Napkin Diagram
  The employment in a high-volume restaurant can become very costly.  The owner must make sure there is someone filling each position, adequately. A challenge that the owner comes across often is hiring for these positions. They risk time, money, and man power hiring inexperienced employees and doing on the job training.  The busser is a position that commonly falls in the on the job training category of employment. I have come up with a solution for a small part of the busser position. With more time and careful planning, it is possible that a robot may be able to completely replace this job being done by humans.  

Repetitive Work

In breaking down the duties of a busser, I was able to figure out a system where a robot may be able to take over the easier and more precise duty of setting a table. On a busy day a busser will likely set a table (with no less than two place settings) close to 50 times a shift. It is usually required to be done as soon as the party leaves the table. After the party leaves, a busser is required to clear off the dirty dishes and reset it with fresh place settings.

A Modern Automated Solution

Arby (shorten for Robotic Busser) is going to be able to take over the task of setting the table with a pre-arranged setting template. This template includes (but is not limited to) a dinner plate, salad/soup bowl, bread/appetizer plate, water glass, wine glass(optional), napkin ring (napkin included), butter knife, table knife, spoon, salad/appetizer fork, and dinner fork. When the customer arrives at the hostess station, they will tell the hostess how many people are in their party. The hostess will then turn on the switch at an available table to the number of people in the party. A feature that I have included is that the hostess can find out if the house wine may be served at dinner. If the visiting party is agreeable to the house wine, then the hostess will also switch on the function to pour wine at the desired number of place settings. If the visiting party does not want wine or only a select few would like the house wine, Arby would remove the wine glasses not being used and fill the glasses that will be used.

After the initial cost and revamp of operations to accommodate the upgraded system, the savings an employer would get to pocket would be significant.