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An Edinburgh restaurant has introduced a robot cat waiter that sings happy birthday

A robot waiter shaped like a cat is entertaining customers at a Japanese restaurant - by singing 'happy birthday' and demanding affection.

Published: February 24, 2022

Maki & Ramen, on South Bridge, Edinburgh, introduced the cat 'assistant' earlier this month - and has been inundated with enthusiasm from diners.

The feline robot, named Miyako, is operated by sensors and navigates around the small restaurant.

Diners have fallen for Miyako, which has a personality like a cat - both demanding to be scratched and petted, and rejecting attention as well.

The robot, which was brought from Korea, delivers food to tables and interacts with customers using a range of hilarious facial expressions, a bit like a Tamagochi.

Miyako won't be putting staff out of their jobs though, as she needs to be accompanied by a human.

The chain of restaurants opened seven years ago and makes its own ramen noodles at a factory in Edinburgh.

Marketing director Effie Koutroumanou, 29, said: "Miyako is one of the first robot waiters in Scotland, and the first in Edinburgh.

"Japan is really keen on respect, innovation and technology. Miyako has been here less than a month.

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"The feedback has been great so far, everyone loves her. At first people are surprised, then it takes a little bit of time to understand how it works.

"Miyako is very friendly, chatty and talkative. She goes to all the tables. She sings 'happy birthday' and you can pat her.

"We've had a lot of people coming in just to see Miyako. She's not going to put staff out of a job - she's an assistant.

"She's very hard working and she's out every day."

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The robot is better suited to smaller environments, rather than the company's six larger restaurants.

Effie added: "We don't know if it's going to be a great fit. It needs to be functional."

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