It’s just one of the measures organizers of the 2022 Winter Games have done to limit contact amid the coronavirus pandemic
By Dave Quinn
Heads up — organizers of the 2022 Beijing Olympics are using some cutting edge technology to ensure everyone’s safety while delivering food to its attendees.
According to a video from Chinese media, in an aim to contain the spread of COVID-19, automated cooks and servers have been installed at the canteen in the Beijing Winter Olympics’ main media center to prepared and serve food to athletes, officials and media workers.
One robot makes and assembles hamburgers, while another works as a bartender, shaking up and neatly pouring cocktails in 90 seconds. There’s a robot to make rice, noodles, and even a robot that grinds coffee beans and brews cups in less than 4 minutes.
Hungry diners, sitting at tables with Plexiglas barriers surrounding them, can scan a code on their phones to place their orders.
In addition to some pickup stations, food will be served robotically from above, lowed to the tables from the ceiling via an electronic platform.
The media restaurant will operate 24 hours a day during the competition, according to Xinhua, the state news agency. Various dining options will be provided, including fast food, Western food and local Chinese delicacies.
“The intelligent meal preparation and meal service system here can not only improve the efficiency of meal supply, but also save manpower to the maximum extent and avoid excessive human interaction in the context of epidemic prevention and control,” they wrote.
This is the second Olympic Games to be held since the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic.
Over 13,000 international athletes and journalists are expected in China for the Games, which kick off Feb. 4.
The Games will operate in a “closed-loop management system” after participants arrive, limiting travel to a fenced-in, closed circuit area that covers 25 different sites including competition sites and a winter sports training. Attendees are only allowed to visit those Games-related venues, and are prohibited from traveling in areas of China beyond them unless in “designated vehicles.”
U.S. athletes will need to be vaccinated, but all participants will also be required to be tested for COVID-19 daily for the duration of the Games, regardless of vaccination status. Athletes will also be encouraged to wear masks and avoid crowded areas even if they are vaccinated.
Interviews with the media will take place 6 feet away, or behind glass panels.
All international spectators — including the families of the athletes — have been banned from attending in order to limit travel into the country.