Alan Adojaan, founder of Yanu tells us about service robots for the restaurant industry.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Alan Adojaan: Great, It has been an interesting time for everyone.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Yanu.
Alan Adojaan: Well, my background is in entertainment and F&B. So 15 years in restaurants, bars, nightclubs. Really turbulent times led me to an idea to optimize the whole industry. It is not so much fun as people expect. The service industry in all is understaffed, and venue owners have a lot of problems to face. As one of them, I tried to innovate and came up with an idea to help them out with some futuristic advantage over their competitors.
How does Yanu innovate?
Alan Adojaan: This robot is completely standalone; it mixes drinks, does it fast, and looks cool. Plus, before you ask – talk to people. In a place like a hotel lobby or an airport, you would need three shifts of people to run the bar. This one does it in one go. You just need to fill in once in a while. Plus, it’s much faster than humans, does the job of 3-5 bartenders. And of course, we are not competing with the professional bartenders but rather replacing dull long-hour or overcrowded venues to cut slack for the professionals.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Alan Adojaan: This has been a real Kickstarter. Now people see the advantage of our contactless bar, hygienic glass dispenser, and the whole concept. Lots of orders and calls have been coming in.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Alan Adojaan: Our development has been going even faster as we realize that our product is helping the world to minimize unwanted contacts and therefore solving an acute problem here.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Alan Adojaan: We are working together with the scientists at Tartu University to understand the impact and ways to solve the problem. In our team, there is a professor of Material Science, Robotics, and There are engineers and doctors to help us out to create a solution that would address the problem.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Alan Adojaan: There is one company in Italy that has been developing much longer than us a similar concept. Although there are more advanced systems and entertainment involved, our solution is mobile, smaller, much faster installed, autonomous, and more flexible in terms of client requirements. All others are tabletop or simple solutions that do not compete. So, greetings to our competitor. We learn from you a lot.
Your final thoughts?
Alan Adojaan: I think service robotics are our future. The world is on the verge of what, the fifth technology revolution? And that is not to be afraid but bringing us a lot of opportunities like the ones that replaced human slavery with machines and horses with cars.
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