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Theme park's 'robot kingdom' seeks to upend Japan's service industry

A graphic rendition of Huis Ten Bosch's "robot kingdom," where androids will cook meals and serve customers.

TOKYO -- Dutch-themed amusement park Huis Ten Bosch has unveiled plans to open a "robot kingdom" featuring over 200 automatons on the premises in July, part of a long-term strategy to revolutionize Japan's anemic service sector.

     "Robots will arrive in this kingdom one after another, and the time will come when those technologies will be in use worldwide," Hideo Sawada, president of the park's operator, told reporters Thursday. The androids will include a chef that can cook okonomiyaki (a Japanese pancake), a bartender that can mix no fewer than 10 cocktails and a wait staff ready to serve and clean up after visitors.

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