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Japan burger chain lets staff work remotely with robots

Mos Burger tests machine that lets people with disabilities, others serve from afar

The OriHime Porter robot brings food to customers on trays, avoiding face-to-face interaction between customers and employees. (Photo by Kenta Ando)

TOKYO -- Fans of Japan's Mos Burger now can order a meal and have it brought to their table without interacting face-to-face with an employee. But there is more to this month's robotic initiative than meets the eye.

The operator of the robot is not inside the burger shop at the parent company's Tokyo headquarters, or even nearby. In July, the company tested remote service run by a person living hundreds of kilometers away in northern Japan's Akita Prefecture. The operator suffers from a debilitating disease. 

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