Spotty teenagers could soon be losing their jobs to robots thanks to a tie up between MasterCard, Pizza Hut and Softbank that will see humanoids take orders and mobile-based payments at some Asian fast food joints.
Softbank's 48 inch Pepper robots will start taking orders and payments in some Pizza Hut Asia restaurants by the end of the year thanks to an app built by the MasterCard Labs team in Singapore.
Hungry customers will be able to engage Pepper by greeting it and then pairing their MasterCard MasterPass accounts by either tapping the Pepper icon within the wallet or by scanning a QR code on the tablet that the robot holds.
They will then be able to order their food, with Pepper offering personalised recommendations and added information such as a slice's calorie count. The robot will then tot up the bill and ask the customer to confirm payment via a voice command.
Tobias Puehse, VP, innovation management, digital payments and labs, MasterCard, says: "The app’s goal is to provide consumers with more memorable and personalized shopping experience beyond today’s self-serve machines and kiosks, by combining Pepper’s intelligence with a secure digital payment experience via MasterPass."
Fast food isn't the only job market where Pepper has begun competing with humans. The robot is used by some 500 firms in Japan, including Mizuho Bank, where it uses IBM's Watson cognitive computing platform to provide customers with assistance.