Pepper the Robot (no gender specified) seems to be all over, having lived in Japanese homes and greeted customers at Pizza Hut and a hospital in Belgium. Pepper also hung out and danced with attendees at this year’s Collision Conference in New Orleans and dispensed cocktail recommendations at an AI Summit in Hong Kong. The humanoid droid was designed to collaborate with humans and respond to voice, motion, and other signals. The “robot as greeter” trend is in its early stages but, according to Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant industry analyst (NPD Group) quoted in Market Watch:

“Restaurants are turning to robots and other forms of automation at a time when a higher minimum wage makes labor more expensive; having fewer workers could be more cost-effective.”