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Rail passenger rights

JR East launches contactless coffee shop with AI-powered robot barista

Rail passengers at Tokyo and Yokohama stations in Japan can now order, collect and pay for coffee made by a six-armed AI-powered robot barista — known as Ella — at a fully automated contactless coffee shop. ai barista

SIM card e SIM shop

Customers can place the order and pay for their coffee on their mobile device via the Ella app and then receive a QR code to scan at the collection point to ensure they receive the correct drink.

Regular users can also set up a dedicated digital wallet, purchase a subscription bundle and receive reward points and personalised recommendations.

Rail company JR East has opened the two coffee shops using robot technology developed by Singapore-based retail systems provider Crown Digital that uses “an ecosystem comprising patented proprietary internet of things-connected software and external hardware that upgrades the coffee experience with speed, convenience, quality and consistency while engaging the user by utilising immersive digital touchpoints”.

“While Ella is preparing the coffee, an integrated OLED screen opens up a myriad of possibilities — from serving as an augmented reality photobooth to displaying customised dynamic advertising that is targeted to the end-user’s profile or even indulging the end-user in a quick game or two,” Crown Digital says.

“On the backend, computer vision powered by artificial intelligence is monitoring the kiosk 24/7 for any abnormalities that may affect Ella’s operations.

“Meanwhile a fulfillment module, powered by its own mobile app, uses deep learning and predictive analytics to digitise the supply chain.”

ELLA – AI barista can supply more than 1,000 cups of coffee per day

Crown Coffee was established in 2016 as a gourmet cafe in Singapore.

When they were faced with high employee turnover and manpower challenges, it decided to rethink its business model and create a solution to deliver delicious coffee quickly and efficiently through the use of robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) innovation.

They eventually got ELLA, Singapore’s first robotic barista. Crown Robotics, its technical department, was responsible for conceiving ELLA, while Crown Digital, a provider of smart retail solutions, developed the application.

“She has served dignitaries and leaders at conferences and events around the world. Keith Tan, CEO and founder of Crown Digital, stated in her opening speech that she recently won two technology and innovation awards in Singapore, which can be provided every day Over 1,000 cups of coffee without sweating.

short video shows the robot barista at work.

JR East says it will consider rolling out the contactless coffee shops to other stations in Japan early next year, while Crown Digital is planning to open outlets at 30 stations on Singapore’s mass rapid transport network by the end of 2022. ai barista


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