Robot Baristas are Being Used in South Korea to Help with Social Distancing

Hyonhee Shin wrote . . . . . . . . .

The new robot barista at the cafe in Daejeon, South Korea is courteous and swift as it seamlessly makes its way towards customers.

“Here is your Rooibos almond tea latte, please enjoy. It’s even better if you stir it,” it says, as a customer reaches for her drink on a tray installed within the large, gleaming white capsule-shaped computer.

After managing to contain an outbreak of the new coronavirus which infected more than 11,000 people and killed 267, South Korea is slowly transitioning from intensive social distancing rules towards what the government calls “distancing in daily life.”

Robots could help people observe social distancing in public, said Lee Dong-bae, director of research at Vision Semicon, a smart factory solution provider which developed the barista robot together with a state-run science institute.

“Our system needs no input from people from order to delivery, and tables were sparsely arranged to ensure smooth movements of the robots, which fits will with the current ‘untact’ and distancing campaign,” he said.

The system, which uses a coffee-making robotic arm and a serving robot, can make 60 different types of coffee and serves the drinks to customers at their seats. It can also communicate and transmit data to other devices and contains self-driving technology to calculate the best routes around the cafe.

An order of six drinks, processed through a kiosk, took just seven minutes. The only human employee at the two-storey cafe was a patissier who also has some cleaning duties and refills ingredients.

The manufacturer and the scientific institute aim to supply at least 30 cafes with robots this year.

“Robots are fun and it was easy because you don’t have to pick up your order,” said student Lee Chae-mi, 23. “But I’m also a bit of worried about the job market as many of my friends are doing part-time jobs at cafes and these robots would replace humans.”

Source : Business Insider

Pan-roasted Snapper Fillets with Chinese Ratatouille


1 lb snapper fillets, rinsed and dried
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp cornstarch
1-1/2 tbsp canola oil


1-1/2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp chopped ginger
1 Chinese eggplant, diced
1 mo qua, peeled, seeded and diced or medium zucchini, diced
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp chopped green onions


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
  2. To make the ratatouille, in non-stick skillet or wok, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, ginger, eggplant and mo qua or zucchini and saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, garlic and stock and bring to boil. Cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and sugar.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in green onions and keep warm.
  5. In small bowl, combine salt, pepper and cornstarch. Dredge fish fillets in mixture until evenly coated.
  6. In a large ovenproof non-stick skillet, heat oil to medium-high. Add fish fillets and fry for 1 minute on each side or until just golden.
  7. Place pan with fish in oven and bake for 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Serve with ratatouille.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Heart Smart Chinese Cooking

In Pictures: Food of 8½ Otto e Mezzo – Bombana in Hong Kong

Contemporary Italian Cuisine

The 2020 Michelin 3-star Restaurant

High Blood Pressure During and After Exercise May Be Markers for Disease Later in Life

Higher blood pressure during exercise and delayed blood pressure recovery after exercise are associated with a higher risk of hypertension, preclinical and clinical cardiovascular disease and death among middle-aged to older adults.

Blood pressure responses to exercise are significant markers of cardiovascular disease and mortality risk in young to middle-aged adults. However, few studies have examined the associations of midlife blood pressure responses to submaximal (less than the maximum of which an individual is capable) exercise with the risk of cardiovascular outcomes and mortality in later life.

BUSM researchers evaluated the association of blood pressure changes and recovery with indicators of preclinical disease among participants from the Framingham Heart Study (average age 58 years, 53 percent women). They then followed these participants to assess whether these blood pressure changes were associated with the risk of developing hypertension, cardiovascular disease or dying.

They observed that both higher exercise systolic blood pressure (SBP) and exercise diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were associated with a greater risk of developing hypertension. Additionally, both delayed SBP and DBP recovery after exercise were associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

“The way our blood pressure changes during and after exercise provides important information on whether we will develop disease in the future; this may help investigators evaluate whether this information can be used to better identify people who are at higher risk of developing hypertension and CVD, or dying later in life,” explained corresponding author Vanessa Xanthakis, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and biostatistics and an Investigator for the Framingham Heart Study.

Dr. Xanthakis recommends that people know their blood pressure numbers, speak to their physician regarding changes during and after exercise and follow a healthy lifestyle (including a regular physical activity schedule) to help lower risk of disease later in life.

These finding appear online in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Source: Boston University School of Medicine

Outdoor Swimming Pools Not a COVID-19 Risk

Swimming pools in many parts of the United States may reopen soon, and Americans can take comfort in knowing that taking a dip should pose little risk of coronavirus infection.

However, there could be risks at indoor pools from crowds, poor air circulation, and contaminated surfaces such as handrails, according to Ernest Blatchley III, a professor of environmental and ecological engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

He specializes in research on how chlorine in swimming pools reacts with contaminants such as human body fluids, medicines and personal care products.

“There are no data to show how the coronavirus responds to chlorine, but we do know that chlorine effectively inactivates similar viruses,” Blatchley said in a university news release.

“In the U.S., the general guidance for keeping pools properly disinfected is maintaining a free chlorine concentration between 1 and 5 milligrams per liter. If a pool has that concentration, there would be very little infective novel coronavirus in the water,” he explained.

However, the air around an indoor pool is likely “to pose similar risks of coronavirus spread as other indoor spaces,” he pointed out.

“A person’s risk would not be affected by the water. The most relevant issue would be contamination of the air or surfaces in these facilities,” said Blatchley, who has studied pool water treatment and chemistry for more than 20 years.

Source: HealthDay

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