Automation has been seen as both a blessing and a curse in modern times, but some, namely the people of Harbin, Heilongjiang in China, lean more toward the former.

One restaurant in China is taking the path to full automation. The move is more than a mere gimmick: the restaurant features 18 colourful robots that perform various tasks, such as waiting tables, cleaning up after guests and even preparing the food. These delightful droids are equipped with motion-sensing technology to help them find their way around the restaurant. They are also highly personable, able to express up to 10 facial expressions and even speak in and understand simple Chinese phrases.

While they might lack the charm of human waiters, these droids could herald a new era of fully automated dining.