Plenty USA has revealed plans to introduce a new version of AI communication robot SOTA at Junkichi in Seattle.

The Japan-made AI robot will be introduced on the inauguration day of the robatayaki izakaya restaurant, scheduled on 15 April. Plenty plans to place the communication robot on tables in the restaurant to recognise and remember customer’s faces using Microsoft Azure’s FaceAPI technology.

The robot can have guided conversations using prepared lines with the help of Microsoft Azure’s Text to Speech service. Guests can also make SOTA speak using a smartphone app.

An earlier version of the robot is currently in use at the Santouka Ramen restaurant in University Village.

“The use of SOTA has helped a Japanese izakaya restaurant increase sales by 10% and receive special requests to reserve tables with the AI robot.”

According to Plenty, the use of SOTA has helped a Japanese izakaya restaurant increase sales by 10% and also receive special requests to reserve tables with the AI robot.

Last month, Plenty announced opening plans of the Japanese robatayaki restaurant, Junkichi.

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Supported by the founder of popular Japanese robatayaki restaurant Ginmasa, Junkichi will serve izakaya dishes along with Santouka’s original ramen dish.

The new restaurant will treat guests to an upscale, authentic style of Japanese cuisine using a traditional live fire charcoal grill.

Robatayaki is a traditional izakaya restaurant offering charcoal-grilled dishes made using fresh meat, fish, and vegetables.