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Japan's 'work-via-robot' cafe helps disabled workers shine

Ory Lab's coffee shop points the way to a more inclusive society

Miao Wen Xin takes a photo as a robot remotely controlled by a "pilot" with physical disabilities, prepares his coffee at the DAWN cafe in Tokyo. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- Mikako Fujita had been working as a barista for seven years when she began noticing, sometime in 2017, that it was becoming harder for her to do simple tasks like putting her hair up in a ponytail.

Not long after, she was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, an incurable motor neuron disease that destroys the nerve cells that control muscles throughout the body.

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